Manslaughter conviction in racially tinged shooting in Marysville

Everett, Washington (AP) 2-08

A man who took a book on Nazi paratroopers into a tavern, got into a fight after making racial comments, killed an American Indian and later said he had shot a “subhuman” has been convicted of first-degree manslaughter.

A Snohomish County Superior Court jury decided that the shooting of Simeon Whitney, 35, of Wapato, by Kevin Jory Braa, 47, of Marysville, was reckless and unjustified but not second-degree murder.

Braa, who claimed he fired his 9mm pistol in self-defense, faces a standard prison term of 13 to 15 years when he is sentenced in March. He remains in custody with bail set at $2 million.

Because of a drug conviction in 1994, he could be sentenced to additional prison time if convicted of seven counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm that remain pending, Deputy Prosecutor John Stansell said.

According to testimony and evidence in the case, Braa ordered a beer at Kuhnle’s Tavern in Marysville in November of 2006, began reading the book “Hitler’s Sky Warriors,” made some racial remarks and got into an argument with Whitney and his brother.

Whitney was shot three times in a fight that occurred after Braa left through the back door. Braa said he was jumped and beaten. Prosecutors argued that he picked the fight.

A roommate testified that Braa came home from the tavern, said he had shot a “subhuman” and asked the roommate to hide the gun. Braa was arrested at his home several days later after authorities ended a standoff by firing tear gas canisters inside.

Testifying in his own defense, he said he defines anyone who is not white and American a “subhuman.”