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Charges amended in Hockinson slaying

Prosecutors have amended charges in the case against a man accused in the beating and fatal shooting of Raymond Brandon, whose body was found in April 2017 in a shed at a Hockinson residence.

Neil Allen Alway, 41, appeared Friday in Clark County Superior Court to address the state’s amended charges. He’s the last of five co-defendants to maintain a not-guilty plea.

The amended charges against Alway include first- and second-degree murder, two counts of first-degree kidnapping, two counts of first-degree robbery and first- and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

Senior Deputy Prosecutor Anna Klein said an earlier kidnapping charge was separated into two counts — one for the alleged unlawful detainment of Brandon, 34, and another for Brandon’s girlfriend Allison Fields. Klein said the language of the robbery charge was also changed.

The charges have been adjusted now that four co-defendants have entered into plea agreements with the state. Alway is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday on the amended charges; his trial is set for Jan. 6.

Prosecutors say Alway conspired with four co-defendants to lure Brandon and Fields to the residence at 15308 N.E. 172nd Ave., to settle a debt over a Subaru Forester he was driving. Brandon’s body was found April 27, 2017, nearly a week after he was killed there.

Alway’s co-defendants are John Michael West, 45, Ashley Lorraine Barry, 33, Ashley Wideman, 25, and Traci Lynn Mendez, 43, court records show.

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.

West, Mendez and Wideman have entered into cooperation agreements with the state. Their agreements stipulate that they testify against their alleged accomplices. They won’t be sentenced until the remaining defendant, Alway, is tried.

For West, Mendez and Wideman, the state is recommending sentences of about 18 years, 11 years and time served, respectively.

Barry’s agreement does not require her to testify. The prosecution is recommending a sentence of about 12 years in prison; sentencing is set for Aug. 26.

Jerzy Shedlock: 360-735-4522; jerzy.shedlock@columbian.com; Twitter: twitter.com/jerzyms


Source: https://www.columbian.com

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