VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — An Oregon man who fatally shot a sheriff’s deputy in southwest Washington state has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility for parole.
Guillermo Raya Leon, 28, was sentenced Thursday in the 2021 death of Clark County sheriff’s Sgt. Jeremy Brown, The Columbian reported.
A Clark County Superior Court jury found the Salem man guilty last week of aggravated first-degree murder, trafficking in stolen property, burglary, motor vehicle theft and two counts of possession of a stolen firearm.
The sentence followed emotional statements from Brown’s family and co-workers.
Jill Brown in court said the sentencing doesn’t give closure to her husband’s death but she considered it an “appropriate acknowledgement” of what happened, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.
Brown was shot on July 23, 2021, as the detective was doing surveillance in his unmarked SUV at an east Vancouver apartment complex. Law enforcement officers from several agencies were investigating Raya Leon, his brother and his brother’s wife in a case described by prosecutors as a conspiracy to steal dozens of firearms and thousands of ammunition rounds from a storage unit and then sell them.
Raya Leon claimed self-defense in the shooting and his lawyer during trial argued Raya Leon did not intend to shoot the detective, only to confirm Brown was watching them.
Prosecutors said Raya Leon knew Brown was a deputy and took time to think things over before confronting the detective. They said Raya Leon sneaked up on Brown and shot him from behind.
Raya Leon’s sister-in-law Misty Raya, pleaded guilty last week to second-degree murder, two counts of second-degree burglary, one count of second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and one count of theft of a firearm. She was sentenced Thursday to 25 years in prison.
A jury convicted Raya Leon’s brother, Abran Raya Leon, of second-degree murder, possession of a stolen firearm and unlawful possession of a firearm. He was the getaway driver in the shooting, and a judge in late August sentenced him to 27 years in prison.