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News / Clark County News

Final suspect pleads guilty to murder in fatal shooting of Clark County sheriff’s Sgt. Jeremy Brown

By Becca Robbins, Columbian staff reporter
Published: September 29, 2023, 1:25pm
4 Photos
Misty Raya, a co-defendant in the 2021 fatal shooting of Clark County sheriff’s Sgt. Jeremy Brown, sits and listens to  Superior Court Judge Derek Vanderwood talk Friday, Sept. 29, 2023, at Clark County Courthouse. Raya pled guilty to second degree murder, two counts of second degree burglary, unlawful possession of a firearm and theft of a firearm.
Misty Raya, a co-defendant in the 2021 fatal shooting of Clark County sheriff’s Sgt. Jeremy Brown, sits and listens to Superior Court Judge Derek Vanderwood talk Friday, Sept. 29, 2023, at Clark County Courthouse. Raya pled guilty to second degree murder, two counts of second degree burglary, unlawful possession of a firearm and theft of a firearm. (Taylor Balkom/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

The third and final co-defendant in the fatal shooting of Clark County sheriff’s Sgt. Jeremy Brown pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree murder.

Although she didn’t pull the trigger, Misty Raya, 37, was convicted of felony murder in Brown’s death as part of a conspiracy to traffic dozens of stolen firearms.

Prosecutors said Misty Raya initiated the firearms-trafficking scheme by breaking into a Hazel Dell storage unit and stealing dozens of guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition in June 2021.

Her brother-in-law, Guillermo Raya Leon, 28, shot Brown on July 23, 2021, as the detective conducted surveillance in his unmarked Jeep SUV at an east Vancouver apartment complex. Her husband, Abran Raya Leon, 30, was the getaway driver.

Misty Raya also pleaded guilty in Clark County Superior Court to two counts of second-degree burglary, one count of second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and one count of theft of a firearm. In addition to everything she pleaded to, Misty Raya had also originally faced 24 other counts of theft of a firearm, along with an additional burglary charge and a charge of first-degree theft.

She is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday, right after her brother-in-law is to be sentenced. Attorneys are jointly recommending she be sentenced to 25 years in prison.

“I hope the family can feel that justice is served and have the closure they deserve,” Prosecutor Tony Golik said after the hearing. “This was an incredibly sad case to work on.”

Misty Raya’s defense attorney, Sean Downs, declined to comment.

Her guilty plea comes days after a jury convicted Guillermo Raya Leon of aggravated first-degree murder, first-degree trafficking in stolen property, first-degree burglary, theft of a motor vehicle and two counts of possession of a stolen firearm.

Aggravated murder carries a mandatory minimum of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Last month, a jury also found Abran Raya Leon guilty of second-degree murder, possession of a stolen firearm and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. He was sentenced to 27 years in prison.

Outside the courtroom, Golik said he’s glad Misty Raya pleaded guilty prior to what was scheduled to be another weekslong trial; her trial was set to begin Oct. 9.

He credited investigators, particularly detectives in the Vancouver Police Department’s Major Crimes Unit, with ensuring that prosecutors had strong cases against the trio.

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