Portland, Or. – Closing arguments are being held today in the hate crime trial of Russell Courtier. He’s accused of murder and intimidation in the death of Larnell Bruce Jr. in Gresham outside a 7-11 store almost three years ago. Larnell was struck and killed by Courtier’s Jeep.
Larnell Jr. is black. Courtier was wearing a hat with the shield of the white supremacist group, European Kindred. Prosecutor David Hannon says the two men traded punches, Bruce got the better of him and walked away. He claims Courtier is a member of and defender of European Kindred. He says “he had to defend the shield. He could not be tarnished. Russell the Muscle could not be caught losing in a fight like this.”
The defense will start its closing arguments after a lunch time break. Parents for both men sat in the front row of the courtroom. Courtier’s parents got up and left the room during Hannon’s presentation.
Colleen Hunt, who was in the Jeep with Courtier, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to manslaughter. She’ll be sentenced March 19th.