Suspected murderers charged in Oak Harbor teen’s death

Two young men, one young woman and a high school student were charged Wednesday in the shooting death of an Oak Harbor teenager.

Prosecutors charged Brian Rayford, 20, David Nunez, Jr., 19, Katana Hernandez, 19, and Derek Reeder, 16, as co-defendants in a single case. They are each accused of first-degree murder, with a special firearms allegation, and conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree.

Reeder was charged as an adult.

The four defendants are accused of conspiring to kill 17-year-old North Whidbey resident John “Jay” Johnson, allegedly because Nunez was upset with him over a $400 impound fee. The four suspects drove to Johnson’s house on the night of Nov. 10, Rayford and Reeder walked together to his door and Rayford shot Johnson in the head, according to the police.

Johnson was found bleeding and unconscious more than three hours later by a family friend. He died at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Under the murder charge, the defendants are accused of acting “as a principal and/or accomplice of another person.”

Island County Chief Criminal Prosecutor Eric Ohme explained that, under law, an accomplice to a murder is as culpable as the person who pulled the trigger.

If convicted of first-degree murder, a defendant would face a minimum of 20 years in prison under state law, plus the possibility of five extra years with a special firearms allegation. Rayford is facing a slightly higher standard range because of his criminal history.

A conviction for conspiracy to commit first-degree murder would come with a minimum sentence of 15 years under the standard sentencing range. Arraignment is set for Nov. 30.