No ‘loose ends’: Winlock woman testifies in trial of man accused of killing plainclothes detective in Southwest Washington
Zane Sparling/oregonlive.com (TNS)
The friend of the man on trial in the fatal shooting of an undercover Clark County police sergeant offered an unexpected response to his self-defense claim during a closely watched trial this week.
Lanny Crabill, who was previously convicted as an accomplice in the 2021 shooting, testified Thursday that another member of the alleged gun-trafficking crew handed a gun to Guillermo Raya León, told him to approach the man he suspected of being a police officer pursuing them and issued a grim instruction: “Don’t leave any loose ends.”
Crabill’s last known address was in Wenlock, according to previous reports.
Defense attorneys admitted during the trial’s opening arguments that Raya Lyon shot the sergeant. Jeremy Brown, but they maintain that the plainclothes detective fired first and Raya Lyon was defending herself.
Brown, 46, was one of three investigators patrolling the Avana One Zero Nine apartment complex on Northeast 109th Avenue in Vancouver when he was shot in the left arm and upper chest shortly before 7 p.m. on July 23, 2021.
Authorities say they were tracking Raya Lyon, his brother and sister-in-law after the trio stole a cache of guns and more than 30,000 rounds of ammunition from a storage unit in Vancouver over three days the previous month.
The group allegedly evaded authorities who tried to arrest them in a weapons investigation after a high-speed chase on Interstate 5 earlier on July 23, then paid Crabill to drive them from Portland to a Vancouver apartment, according to The Columbian.
The newspaper reported that Crabill is serving a six-year prison sentence for second-degree manslaughter for her role in the killing after she agreed to testify against the others.
During cross-examination, defense attorney Therese Lavallee said Crabill had never previously mentioned seeing Misty Raya, Raya Lyon’s sister-in-law, hand him a gun or utter such a dark command until she suddenly recalled it on the witness stand.
“I remembered that,” Crabill replied. “I don’t know all of a sudden. You’re putting in words.”
Crabill, who was wearing a blue prison jacket, said at the time of the shooting that she did not know why Raya Lyon, his brother and sister-in-law jumped into her SUV and sped off, leaving her behind.
In separate testimony, Vancouver detective Rodrigo Osorio said he heard two separate shots that he initially assumed were fireworks before the SUV he was watching took off. Osorio said he was upset when Brown, who was sitting alone in his unmarked SUV, did not respond to messages.
During trial testimony Wednesday, a Washington state trooper told a Clark County Superior Court jury that he took over a pursuit of a silver Toyota Sequoia, which crashed into the brush surrounding the Interstate 205 off-ramp near Baden Parkway.
Another woman testified that she began screaming after she saw two men and a woman enter her backyard, which faced the cliff, and flee into the neighborhood. A Vancouver police officer testified that his dog picked up the scent and found Misty Raya and her husband hiding in the bushes on Northeast 76th Street.
However, Raya Lyon managed to evade capture by stealing a resident’s Prius, investigators testified during the trial, but she was tracked down and arrested in Salem two days later.
He is charged with aggravated first-degree murder and faces at least 25 years in prison, if convicted. His trial began last week and is expected to continue for another two weeks.
His brother, Abran Raya Leon, was convicted of driving the Sequoia getaway car after shooting Brown and was sentenced to 27 years in prison in August during a trial in which he did not testify. Misti Raya remains in detention awaiting trial.