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Man pleads guilty in killing of man found in shed

A man charged in the 2017 beating and fatal shooting of Raymond Brandon, whose body was found in a shed at a Hockinson residence, pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree murder.

John Michael West, 45, conspired with four co-defendants to lure Brandon, 34, and his girlfriend, Allison Fields, to the residence at 15308 N.E. 172nd Ave., to settle a debt over a Subaru Forester he was driving, according to prosecutors. Brandon’s body was found April 27, 2017, nearly a week after he was killed there.

In exchange for his guilty plea in Clark County Superior Court, West agreed to testify against some of his alleged accomplices.

The prosecutor’s office also charged Neil Allen Alway, 41, Ashley Lorraine Barry, 33 and Ashley Wideman, 25, all transients, and Traci Lynn Mendez, 43, in connection with the slaying, court records show.

West originally faced first- and second-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping and first-degree robbery, all with firearm enhancements, second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a stolen firearm.

He faces about 10 to 18 years in prison on the second-degree murder conviction. However, sentencing won’t happen until his co-defendants are tried, Senior Deputy Prosecutor Anna Klein said.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Brandon and Fields arrived at Mendez’s house on the morning of April 20, 2017, and were ambushed by the group. A chaotic confrontation ensued, and Alway and West led Brandon outside where he was attacked and fatally shot in the chest. Fields was forced to stay with the group or risk being killed herself.

Afterward, Mendez drove the group and Fields in her SUV to a farm off Northeast 119th Street, and Fields eventually escaped, court records say.

Mendez took a similar plea deal about a year ago. She also pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, which hinged on her agreement to testify against everyone else accused of playing a part in Brandon’s death. If she follows the agreement, the prosecution will recommend an 11-year prison sentence.

Wideman also entered into a cooperation agreement in September 2017 but has not yet pleaded guilty. Her agreement requires her to plead guilty to unlawful imprisonment and second-degree rendering criminal assistance, and testify against the others. In exchange, the prosecution will recommend a sentence of time served — about six months. A sentencing date has not been set.


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