Accomplices in Clark County sheriff’s deputy’s slaying sentenced to decades in prison

By Troy Brynelson (OPB)
Oct. 5, 2023 9:03 p.m.

Guillermo Raya Leon, who shot and killed Clark County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Jeremy Brown in 2021, was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Guillermo Raya Leon, second from left, looks on as Gage Brown, right, son of Clark County sheriff's Sgt. Jeremy Brown, speaks to the court during Raya Leon's sentencing at the Clark County Courthouse in Vancouver, Wash., on Thursday morning, Oct. 5, 2023. Raya Leon was sentenced to life in prison after he was found guilty of aggravated first-degree murder in the 2021 fatal shooting of Sgt. Brown.

Guillermo Raya Leon, second from left, looks on as Gage Brown, right, son of Clark County sheriff's Sgt. Jeremy Brown, speaks to the court during Raya Leon's sentencing at the Clark County Courthouse in Vancouver, Wash., on Thursday morning, Oct. 5, 2023. Raya Leon was sentenced to life in prison after he was found guilty of aggravated first-degree murder in the 2021 fatal shooting of Sgt. Brown.

Amanda Cowan / Pool photo via The Columbian

The last two accomplices in a frenzied gun heist that led to the fatal shooting of a Clark County detective were sentenced to decades in jail Thursday.

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A Clark County Superior Court judge sentenced Guillermo Raya Leon, 28, to life in prison without the possibility of parole for aggravated first-degree murder. A jury on Sept. 26 convicted Raya Leon after a two-week trial over the July 23, 2021, shooting.

Misty Maya Raya, Raya Leon’s sister-in-law who was often portrayed as an orchestrator of the gun heist, was sentenced to 25 years in prison. She pleaded guilty last week to felony murder and a slew of charges tied to stealing firearms.

Their convictions appear to mark the end of the yearslong case. Clark County Prosecutor Tony Golik said in court that Raya’s sentencing brought “closure to this very, very sad case.”

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The third accomplice, Abran Raya Leon, was sentenced to 27 years in prison last month. Guillermo Raya Leon’s defense attorney said after his sentencing that they plan to file an appeal.

The night of the shooting, Leon confronted and killed Sgt. Jeremy Brown. Brown had that day joined the investigation into stolen guns from a storage unit outside Vancouver. He helped track Leon, Leon’s brother and his brother’s wife to an apartment.

As Brown sat parked in an unmarked SUV outside the apartment, Leon went outside and shot him with one of the stolen guns. Brown died from a single gunshot wound.

In the aftermath, Raya Leon sped off in a car driven by his brother. The car crashed about a mile away, where police arrested Raya Leon’s brother and sister-in-law. Raya Leon was caught in Salem the next day.

Jill Brown, wife of Clark County sheriff's Sgt. Jeremy Brown, shares an emotional moment with Sgt. Brown's son, Gage Brown, after the sentencing of Guillermo Raya Leon at the Clark County Courthouse in Vancouver, Wash., on Thursday morning, Oct. 5, 2023. Raya Leon was sentenced to life in prison after he was found guilty of aggravated first-degree murder in the 2021 fatal shooting of Sgt. Brown.

Jill Brown, wife of Clark County sheriff's Sgt. Jeremy Brown, shares an emotional moment with Sgt. Brown's son, Gage Brown, after the sentencing of Guillermo Raya Leon at the Clark County Courthouse in Vancouver, Wash., on Thursday morning, Oct. 5, 2023. Raya Leon was sentenced to life in prison after he was found guilty of aggravated first-degree murder in the 2021 fatal shooting of Sgt. Brown.

Amanda Cowan / Pool photo via The Columbian

Brown’s widow, Jill Brown, read a statement to the court during Raya Leon’s sentencing Thursday. She iterated that the sentencing doesn’t give closure to her husband’s death but she considered it an “appropriate acknowledgement” of what happened.

“I often say that it was not just Jeremy’s life that was taken,” Jill Brown said. “Each of that knew and loved him are not only grieving his absence and trying to make sense of his murder, but also mourning who we were as people, and a family, before that day.”

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