VANCOUVER, Wash. - The primary defendant in the April 2017 beating and fatal shooting of a man at a Hockinson property was sentenced Friday to about 70 years in prison.
A Clark County Superior Court jury found Neil Alway guilty last month of first- and second-degree murder, and two counts each of kidnapping and robbery in the death of Raymond C. Brandon, The Columbian reported.
Three co-defendants who agreed to testify against Alway at trial were sentenced earlier. John West and Traci Mendez received about 18 years for second-degree murder, and Ashley Wideman received a suspended sentence and credit for time served for unlawful imprisonment and rendering criminal assistance.
A fourth co-defendant, Ashley Barry, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced in 2019 to about 13 years in prison.
Prosecutors say Alway and West were beating Brandon when Alway decided to kill him.
Mendez had conspired with the others to lure Brandon, 34, and his girlfriend, Allison Fields, to her residence to settle a debt over a Subaru Forester that Brandon was driving, according to prosecutors.
The couple arrived on the morning of April 20, 2017, and were ambushed by the group.
Brandon was attacked and fatally shot in the chest. Fields was forced to stay with the group or risk being killed herself, court records say.
Afterward, Mendez drove the group and Fields in her SUV to a farm and Fields eventually escaped, court records say.
Defense attorney Tony Lowe told the court Alway went to trial because he did not commit Brandon’s murder and he plans to appeal.
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