Russell Courtier, a 40-year-old member of a white supremacist group, received his sentence to life in prison with a minimum of 28 years after murdering a black teen by running him over with his car.
Courtier and Colleen Hunt were in a jeep with Courtier behind the wheel on August 10, 2016, when Hunt encouraged him to hit 19-year-old Larnell Bruce.
According to KMIZ, prosecutors argued the hit-and-run was racially motivated after Bruce and Courtier were allegedly in a fight earlier in front of a convenience store in Gresham, Oregon, just outside of Portland.
Prosecutor David Hannon said in his statement that Courtier did not need to be a part of the gang but joined because it "stemmed from his racist desire to be a part of a 'brotherhood.'"
A white man who murdered an African American teenager out of racial hatred on a Gresham street was sentenced Tuesda… https://t.co/GNABN8tQyL— The Oregonian (@The Oregonian) 1555469225.0
Hannon said surveillance footage captured the fight between Bruce and Courtier, but there was no evidence Bruce instigated it. The camera showed Bruce peacefully standing outside when Courtier suddenly pulled into the parking lot. The prosecutor said that a fight suddenly broke out.
The store footage then showed Bruce running down the street and sidewalk as an attempt to evade Courtier, who subsequently got into his jeep and ran the teenager down.
Bruce died a few days later from his injuries.
Russell Courtier, convicted of a hate-crime murder, tears up as family of deceased teen Larnell Bruce Jr. tell him… https://t.co/62V7wwYKn2— Aimee Green (@Aimee Green) 1555433754.0
The victim's father, Larnell Bruce Sr. appeared to be relieved over Courtier's sentence.
He hoped Courtier will spend time in prison thinking about whether or not he would want his own son, who is eight-years-old, to grow up among other white supremacists.
"That ideology that you have is not good for anybody."
Bruce's mother Christina Miles told Coutier in the courtroom, "you allowed the devil to misguide you and take the life of such a beautiful young spirit."
Larnell's mother, Natasha Bruce: "I started raising my son same age that he died, 19 years old. Think of what you t… https://t.co/mAVTXrrtA4— Alex Zielinski (@Alex Zielinski) 1555434099.0
@ABC7Chicago There are no words. It’s so senseless and vicious. So heartbreaking— Patricia Arquette (@Patricia Arquette) 1555565606.0
Judge sentences murderer Russell Courtier to life in prison with a 28-year minimum, for the hate-crime killing of L… https://t.co/a44ajkNrZ7— Aimee Green (@Aimee Green) 1555436368.0
@ABC7Chicago @KristenClarkeJD Well he can think; was it all worth it? NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO TAKE ANOTHER'S LIFE! No one— Corrine Perry (@Corrine Perry) 1555554303.0
@ABC7Chicago Little did she know that she was actually talking to a devil. He was guided by the very nature in which he was made— Christopher Muhammad (@Christopher Muhammad) 1555603610.0
Hunt, 37, plead guilty to one count of manslaughter, in addition to aiding and abetting Courtier by instructing him to hit Bruce with the vehicle.
The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office said she received a 10-year sentence after waiving a jury trial.
Colleen Hunt, girlfriend of hate-crime murderer Russell Courtier, sentenced to 10 years for her role in Larnell Bru… https://t.co/rCZs6bn69d— Aimee Green (@Aimee Green) 1555450915.0
Bruce's family set up the Love and Live nonprofit organization to help victims of hate crime.
Larnell's family doesn't want his legacy to be defined by his murder. Instead, they formed a nonprofit called Love… https://t.co/16PIYyO1uC— Chris Liedle (@Chris Liedle) 1555570019.0
Family has started non-profit #LarnellBruce to combat hate crime. 5 of Larnell’s organs were donated, & parts of hi… https://t.co/f1aH37TSwi— Mary Loos (@Mary Loos) 1555439478.0
Family released green balloons to draw attention to organ donation and honor life of Larnell Bruce, Jr. #LiveOnK2 https://t.co/NMxTObbjjY— Mary Loos (@Mary Loos) 1555439620.0
We wish the Larnell family peace as they find some sense of closure in the loss of their son.