Driver in fatal shooting of Washington deputy gets 27 years

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — A man who drove the getaway car in a stolen firearms trafficking scheme that led to the fatal shooting of Clark County sheriff’s Sgt. Jeremy Brown in southwest Washington has been sentenced to more than 27 years in prison.

Clark County Superior Court Judge David Gregerson sentenced 30-year-old Abran Raya Leon on Thursday, The Columbian reported. Brown, 46, was shot while he was working undercover and seated in an unmarked police SUV at an east Vancouver apartment complex on July 23, 2021.

A jury in August found Abran Raya Leon guilty of second-degree murder, possession of a stolen firearm and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. He didn’t shoot Brown but was convicted of murder as part of what prosecutors describe as a conspiracy to steal dozens of firearms and thousands of ammunition rounds from a storage unit and then sell them.

His brother, Guillermo Raya Leon, shot Brown and Abran Raya Leon’s wife, Misty Raya, initiated the scheme, according to prosecutors. Guillermo Raya Leon has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges including murder and is scheduled for trial next week.

Misty Raya has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges including burglary and firearm theft and is scheduled for trial next month.

“Jeremy was an exceptional human, truly exceptional in every way,” Jill Brown said in court. “Each of us that knew and loved him are not only grieving his absence and trying to make sense of his murder, but we are also mourning who we were, as people, as a family, before that day.”

Clark County Sheriff John Horch said in court that many at the sheriff’s office continue to struggle with Brown’s death.

Abran Raya Leon in court apologized to the Brown family.

“I’m sorry for the loss of what I know was a loved man," he said. “If I knew I was going to be a part of something so horrible, I would’ve stayed home.”