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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

‘This crime is worthy of that sentence’: Man who shot and wounded Spokane police officer sentenced to 65 years in prison

Ray Wynecoop addresses Judge Tony Hazel Friday afternoon, March 15, 2024, in the Spokane County Courthouse when it was decided to delay Wynecoop’s sentencing on multiple charges involving the shooting and injuring Spokane Police Officer Kris Honaker and targeting SPD officer Michele Kernkamp in June 2022.  (DAN PELLE/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

A judge sentenced a 23-year-old man Friday to 65 years behind bars for a “deliberate attack” on law enforcement that left a Spokane police officer wounded.

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Tony Hazel said he recognized the potential life sentence for Ray Wynecoop, but “this crime is worthy of that sentence.”

“This was one of the more serious cases I’ve handled,” Hazel said.

Court records say Wynecoop and his alleged co-conspirator and childhood friend, Isaac Ott, 23, targeted two northeast Spokane homes in drive-by shootings June 26, 2022. Police responded to the shootings and were then targeted, documents say.

With Wynecoop driving, the pair, who are members of different gangs, pursued Spokane police Officer Michele Kernkamp’s patrol vehicle north on Perry Street, approaching Empire Avenue.

Seven shots were fired as Officer Kris Honaker’s patrol vehicle passed through the intersection of Empire Avenue and Perry Street, according to documents. Honaker was shot in the leg, and a bullet grazed his scalp in the drive-by.

Spokane County deputy prosecutor Preston McCollam and Wynecoop’s attorney, Spokane County Public Defender Katharine Allison, made sentencing recommendations to Hazel March 15. Hazel said Friday he waited to do the sentencing, given the “gravity of the case” and to review case documents.

McCollam played a clip during last month’s court hearing of Ott filming the moments before the shooting, which includes Wynecoop holding a gun saying “watch this,” and driving behind Kernkamp before gunshots can be heard.

Hazel said Friday the defendants “intentionally filmed their intended ambush” on police officers after two drive-by shootings. He said they appeared to feel “excitement and joy” targeting police.

“That raises grave concerns to the court,” Hazel said.

Wynecoop last month denied waiting for officers to arrive and said he was “heavily medicated” at the time of the shootings.

Wynecoop apologized and said he’s remorseful, calling it the biggest mistake of his life.

“It was just something that spiraled out of control,” he said.

Hazel said Wynecoop’s phone calls from jail talked about repeating the crimes and were evidence Wynecoop was not “extraordinarily remorseful” for his actions.

While in jail, Wynecoop told someone over the phone: “If you can get me out, I can do it again,” according to documents. In phone conversations, he is heard laughing in his description of the shooting and describing himself as a “legend.”

Kernkamp and fellow law enforcement members watched Friday’s court proceedings from the court gallery.

Kernkamp said she was grateful for the sentencing outcome and thankful for the work of detectives and prosecutors, and for Hazel’s thoroughness.

“The Spokane Police Department thanks the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office for their meticulous and diligent investigation of this case and the Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for bringing the case forward,” Spokane police said in a news release. “SPD is pleased that justice has been served in the case of one of the two suspects in the shooting of a Spokane police officer and the assault of another officer. The shooting forever changed the lives of the two officers involved and affected all officers who face similar dangers everyday as they live out the oath to serve and protect their community.”

Wynecoop pleaded guilty in October to 13 charges, including 10 related to the shootings. The 10 charges were conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree, five counts of first-degree assault, two counts of drive-by shooting, attempt to elude police and first-degree malicious mischief.

The other three charges were attempt to elude police and two counts of hit-and-run with injuries for an unrelated incident in December 2021.

Wynecoop was also indicted in federal court on charges of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Meanwhile, Ott is scheduled for trial April 22.

McCollam recommended Wynecoop spend no less than 783 months in prison, which is what Hazel imposed.

The sentence includes 34¼ years for conspiracy to commit murder, which is the high end of the standard sentencing range for that charge, and another 30 years in firearm enhancements, which are tacked onto each of the conspiracy and assault charges. The attempt to elude carries a one-year sentencing enhancement.

The rest of the sentence for the other charges will run at the same time.

McCollam said Hazel’s sentencing was “well-reasoned” and adequately reflected Wynecoop’s conduct.

Allison said last month Wynecoop’s youth contributed to the crimes and recommended a 21-year prison sentence.

She said Wynecoop’s crimes were also indicative of impetuousness, peer influence and drug use.

Hazel said Friday Wynceoop has engaged in a “criminal lifestyle” for many years and that he primarily chose that lifestyle.

“He wanted to be a hardened criminal and wanted those around him to identify him as that,” Hazel said.

He said he hopes Wynecoop chooses to rehabilitate in prison.

“I wish you the best in life,” Hazel said. “You do have the ability to change who you’ve been in the past.”

Wynecoop, dressed in a black dress shirt and red and gray tie, was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs after Friday’s sentencing.