Two of five defendants suspected of killing Raymond Brandon in April 2017 have recently pleaded guilty to their charges while one has maintained a not guilty plea.
On Aug. 1, John Michael West, 45, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in connection to the case. He was recommended for more than 18 years in prison, according to court documents, though he initially faced charges including kidnapping and robbery. As part of an agreement with prosecutors, West will have to testify against any of the other suspects named in the case who go to trial, after which he will be sentenced.
On Aug. 7, Ashley Lorraine Barry, 34, pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in connection to the case. She initially faced charges including kidnapping, robbery and first- and second-degree murder, according to court documents. Prosecutors have recommended a roughly 12-year sentence for Barry. She will not have to testify against any of the other suspects and is scheduled for sentencing Aug. 26, according to the state court database.
On Aug. 16, Neil Allen Alway, 41, appeared in Clark County Superior Court. He faces eight charges including first- and second-degree murder, two counts of first-degree kidnapping, two counts of first-degree robbery and two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm, according to court documents. Alway has not pleaded guilty and has a trial set for Jan. 6.
West, Barry and Alway all face charges following the April 20, 2017, death of Brandon. According to court documents, Brandon and his girlfriend at the time, Allison Fields, had arrived at the home of Traci Mendez in the 15300 block of Northeast 172nd Avenue in Brush Prairie, where they were ambushed by Alway, West, Barry and Ashley Lorine Wideman, another suspect. Brandon was taken outside by Alway and West where, according to an account by Fields, Brandon was beaten and allegedly shot.
Brandon’s death was the result of an attempt to settle a debt, according to court documents.
Both Mendez and Wideman have already agreed to cooperate with the state. Mendez faces 11 years in prison while Wideman was recommended for time served pending their cooperation, according to sentencing documents.