Russell Courtier Guilty of Murder and Hate Crime: A Multnomah County jury issued a guilty verdict March 19 in murder and hate crime charges against Russell Courtier, a member of a white supremacist prison gang who struck and killed a black teenager with a Jeep in August 2016. The jury ruled Courtier guilty on all three counts: murder, failure to perform the duties of a driver, and intimidation. The verdicts on the murder and failure-to-perform charges were unanimous, but the jury's vote on the intimidation charge was 10-2. Oregon does not require unanimous verdicts on any of the charges against Courtier other than murder. Courtier drove his girlfriend's red Jeep into Larnell Bruce Jr., killing him Aug. 10, 2016. He hit Bruce with the Jeep after a fight outside a Gresham 7-Eleven.
Alleged Victim in Terry Bean Case Sues His Own Attorney: The Lane County sexual assault case against Portland gay rights pioneer and Democratic Party fundraiser Terry Bean took a new turn this week. His alleged victim, who was 15 at the time of the incident in 2013, filed a legal malpractice lawsuit in Multnomah County Circuit Court against his former attorney, Lori Deveny. As WW reported earlier this year, Deveny allegedly stole money from more than two dozen clients ("Game Over," Jan. 16, 2019), including Bean's alleged victim, who filed the lawsuit March 18 under his initials, MSG. The lawsuit filed by MSG's new attorney, Sean Riddell, seeks the $220,000 Bean allegedly paid MSG not to testify against him and which Deveny allegedly kept. Deveny did not respond to a request for comment.
Wheeler Splits With Political Consultant: Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and his political consultant Jake Weigler have parted ways. The split is the latest development to raise questions about the mayor's prospects for re-election. "They simply had different visions," says mayoral spokeswoman Eileen Park in a statement. "It was a mutual decision." Weigler, who works for the firm Hilltop Public Solutions, ran Wheeler's 2016 mayoral campaign, a landslide victory. "We appreciated the opportunity to work with the mayor," he says. Wheeler has said he'll consult his family before deciding later this year whether to mount a re-election bid.
Big Churn in School Board Elections: Two of the four members up for re-election to the Portland School Board in June have opted not to run: Julie Esparza Brown, who represents Zone 1, and Mike Rosen, who represents Zone 7. Andrew Scott, deputy chief operating officer at Metro and Portland's former budget chief, will seek Esparza Brown's spot. Pastor Eilidh Lowery is running for Rosen's seat. Amy Kohnstamm (Zone 3) is running for re-election, and Paul Anthony (Zone 2) has not announced whether he will run again. But three candidates are already vying for Anthony's seat: Shanice Clarke (a program coordinator at Portland State University), Carlos Richard (a program director at the nonprofit United Way), and Michelle DePass (a Portland Housing Bureau official). No candidates have announced they are running against Kohnstamm.