Lawyers presented opening arguments in the hate crime trial against Russell Courtier and Colleen Hunt, the couple who allegedly ran down and killed a black teenager in front of a Gresham 7-Eleven in 2016.
The Multnomah County prosecutor showed video of Courtier driving a red jeep and nearly colliding with Larnell Bruce, Jr. Courtier then turns the jeep around and drives toward the teenager again, accelerating and striking him just out of the camera's view.
"He would not let the rules of traffic deter him," senior deputy district attorney David Hannon said. "He would not let a sidewalk deter him. And he would not let a young man running away in fear for his life deter him."
Bruce died from the injuries he sustained in the collision.
Bruce's family members filled the courtroom, some crying at times as the Hannon laid out the case against Courtier.
The prosecutor showed the jury a clip of Courtier sitting alone in a police interrogation room, where he cursed and used racist language to describe black people.
"Mr. Courtier had one intention," Hannon said. "And that was to kill Mr. Bruce. And after he did that, he drove off… leaving Mr. Bruce bleeding and dying in our streets. Why?"
Hannon then showed the jury the hat Courtier wore that night, emblazoned with symbols associated with the European Kindred, a white supremacist prison gang in Oregon. Courtier also had a tattoo of the EK shield.
"He wore the pride of his affiliation and the pride of his membership on his skin," Hannon told the jury. "He wore it that night on his clothes."
Kevin Sali, Courtier's defense attorney, presented a similar story, but emphasized a physical confrontation between Bruce and Courtier in front of the 7 Eleven before the vehicle collision.
"It's not what anybody would call a fight," Sali told the jury. "Mr Bruce was larger, stronger and armed with a machete."
Sali held up the machete, which has a large curved edge.
He also showed security footage that captured the moment where Bruce slammed Courtier into a window hard enough to crack the glass. A significant argument in Courtier's defense will center on how his behavior may have been influenced by alleged blows to his head during the fight.
The trial is scheduled to last two weeks and conclude on March 22.