A white man who ran over and killed a black teenager with his car in Oregon in 2016 was sentenced to life in prison for his crime. The decision marks Oregon’s first hate crime murder conviction in 30 years.
According to The Oregonian, Russell Orlando Courtier will not only serve time for killing 19-year-old Larnell Bruce Jr., he adds an additional four-year term to his sentence for a bar attack in 2015. He will have to serve a minimum of 28 years before he’s eligible for release.
Per the report, Courtier and Bruce got into a fistfight outside of a 7-11 in August 2016. Prosecutors do not know what prompted the fight between Bruce and the 40-year-old.
“Courtier was a member of a white supremacist prison gang [“European Kindred”] and was wearing the gang’s logo on his baseball cap and had it tattooed on one of his legs when he encountered Bruce outside the convenience store,” The Oregonian writes. “A moment later, surveillance video captured Bruce sprinting down a nearby street and then a sidewalk in a desperate attempt to get away from Courtier and the Jeep.”
During the trial, witnesses say that they heard Colleen Hunt, Courtier’s then-girlfriend and passenger in the Jeep, yell “Run him over!” and “Get him, baby!” She pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the case, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
“[Bruce’s] family also has started a nonprofit organization -- Love and Live #LarnellBruce Foundation -- to help victims of hate crimes and their families get through the enormous anger and loss that results from such crimes,” The Oregonian concludes.