On May 17, 2021, Thurston County Superior Court Judge James Dixon sentenced 34-year-old Shane Brewer to the high end of the standard sentencing range for the first-degree murder of Loren Vervalen along with other charges. The court imposed a sentence of 788 months incarceration in state prison, including 240 months based on the jury’s determination that Brewer was armed with a firearm during the murder and related robbery. Brewer was also sentenced for several crimes related to an earlier burglary of a Thurston County Big 5 sporting goods store, from which several rifles were stolen, one of which was used in the subsequent murder. The high end range sentence was recommended by County Prosecutor Jon Tunheim.
Following the Thurston County Sherriff’s Office’s arrest of Brewer in December of 2018, he was charged by the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office with first-degree murder, unlawful possession of a firearm in the first-degree and burglary in the first-degree while armed with a firearm.
The jury in a 2020 Thurston County Superior Court trial found Brewer guilty of first-degree burglary, four counts of theft of a firearm, three counts of unlawful possession of a firearm, second-degree malicious mischief, and possession of a stolen vehicle, but could not reach a unanimous decision regarding the charges of murder and robbery. On April 29, 2021, a separate Thurston County Superior Court jury found Brewer guilty of the remaining charges.
During the sentencing hearing, Mr. Vervalen’s mother described her son as a man who enjoyed helping others. She asked the court to impose the highest sentence possible.
“This process has been difficult for Loren’s family, and while they will never have him back, the sentence ordered by the court today serves as some measure of closure and justice,” said Tunheim following the sentencing.
Brewer will be transferred to the custody of the Washington State Department of Corrections to serve his sentence.