Murder trial goes to jurors

EVERETT — A shooting outside a Marysville tavern 15 months ago was a case of someone who picked a fight, lost it and then shot and killed the other combatant, a Snohomish County deputy prosecutor told a jury on Monday.

The shooting, which had racial overtones, amounted to second-degree murder, prosecutor John Stansell said.

The evidence shows Kevin Jory Braa acted in self-defense, public defender Marybeth Dingledy said. She acknowledged that Braa made some stupid comments to American Indians, including to Simeon Whitney, 35, of Wapato, the man who was killed.

She told the jury Whitney viciously attacked Braa, who constantly carries his gun for protection. Braa fired numerous shots in self-defense, Dingledy said.

A jury late Monday started contemplating the two versions of what happened outside Kuhnle’s Tavern. The panel will resume deliberations this morning.

Braa, 47, of Marysville, admittedly has strong views on race. He walked into the tavern for a drink and to read a book, “Hitler Sky Warrior.”

He testified Monday that he was attacked immediately after he walked out the tavern’s back door after several verbal confrontations with Whitney and the slain man’s brother.

“It wasn’t a fight. It was an assault and a beating,” Braa testified. He said he couldn’t tell who was beating him.

A roommate testified earlier that Braa came home after the shooting and said that he thought he shot “a subhuman.”

Braa told the jury he defined a “subhuman” as anybody who is not white and American.

Stansell said a surveillance video inside the bar shows an upset Braa confronting the victim’s brother.

“He’s angry at the nonwhite people in the bar, the ‘subhumans,’ ” Stansell told jurors. “The fight Mr. Braa picked in that bar, the fight that he provoked, was a mistake.”

Stansell maintains the shooting happened after Braa lost the fight. Whitney was struck in each buttock and the side. He stumbled back inside the bar and walked several feet before collapsing. Whitney died at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Braa drove away, hid the 9mm pistol and told his roommate to lie for him.

He was arrested several days later after a several-hour police standoff. Braa refused to come out of his residence in the 13800 block of 19th Avenue NE until sheriff’s deputies fired tear-gas canisters into the home.

Jurors don’t have to like Braa’s views on race, Dingledy told them. Braa was not looking for a fight.

“He was just being stupid and making stupid comments,” she told the panel.

Her client didn’t physically attack Whitney or his brother, Dingledy told the jury, and what happened in the tavern’s parking lot was a beating, not a fight.

“He shot because he had no choice,” Dingledy said. “It was self-defense. You may not like it. You may not like Kevin, but that doesn’t change the facts.”

Reporter Jim Haley: 425-339-3447 or

Talk to us

More in Local News

Mt. Baker visible from the summit of Mt. Dickerman on a late summer day in 2017. (Caleb Hutton / The Herald)
Hornets pester hikers on popular Mountain Loop trails

“You cannot out run the stings,” one hiker wrote in a trip report. The Forest Service has posted alerts at two trailheads.

A view of a 6 parcel, 4.4 acre piece of land in Edmonds, south of Edmonds-Woodway High School on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Housing authority seeks more property in Edmonds

The Housing Authority of Snohomish County doesn’t have specific plans for land near 80th Avenue West, if its offer is accepted.

Nursing Administration Supervisor Susan Williams points at a list of current COVID patients at Providence Regional Medical Center on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Dozens of Providence patients in medical limbo for months, even years

About 100 people are stuck in Everett hospital beds without an urgent medical reason. New laws aim for a solution.

Emergency responders surround an ultralight airplane that crashed Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, at the Arlington Municipal Airport in Arlington, Washington, resulting in the pilot's death. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Pilot dead in ultralight plane crash at Arlington Municipal Airport

There were no other injuries or fatalities reported, a city spokesperson said.

Cash is used for a purchase at Molly Moon's Ice Cream in Edmonds, Washington on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
County Council delays vote on requiring businesses to take cash

Concerns over information and enforcement postponed the council’s scheduled vote on the ordinance Wednesday in Snohomish County.

A girl walks her dog along a path lined with dandelions at Willis D. Tucker Community Park on Monday, Sept. 11, 2023, in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Spraying in Willis Tucker Park resurfaces debate over herbicides

Park staff treated about 11,000 square feet with glyphosate and 2,4-D. When applied correctly, staff said they aren’t harmful.

One of Snohomish County PUD’s new smart readers is installed at a single family home Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023, in Mill Creek, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
PUD program seeks to make energy grid smarter for 380K customers

The public utility’s ConnectUp program will update 380,000 electric meters and 23,000 water meters in the next few years.

An example of the Malicious Women Co. products (left) vs. the Malicious Mermaid's products (right). (U.S. District Court in Florida)
Judge: Cheeky candle copycat must pay Snohomish company over $800K

The owner of the Malicious Women Co. doesn’t expect to receive any money from the Malicious Mermaid, a Florida-based copycat.

A grave marker for Blaze the horse. (Photo provided)
After Darrington woman’s horse died, she didn’t know what to do

Sidney Montooth boarded her horse Blaze. When he died, she was “a wreck” — and at a loss as to what to do with his remains.

Most Read