A Multnomah County jury today issued a guilty verdict 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 duties of driver and intimidation. The murder and failure to perform charges were unanimous, but the intimidation charge was 10-2. Oregon does not require unanimous verdicts on any of Courtier's charges other than murder.
Courtier drove his girlfriend's red Jeep into Larnell Bruce, Jr., killing him on Aug. 10, 2016. He hit Bruce with the Jeep after a fight outside a Gresham 7-Eleven.
Colleen Hunt, the co-defendant in the case, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree for her role in the collision.
The courtroom remained subdued even as Judge Jerry Hodson read the jury's verdict. Bruce's family members softly sobbed and murmured under their breath as Hodson read the decisions.
Courtier, visibly upset by the decision, opened and closed his fists for a few minutes as the judge polled the jurors to see whether the verdicts were lawful.
All twelve jurors agreed Courtier was guilty of murder and failing to perform the duties of a driver. Two dissented on the intimidation charge, but Courtier was still convicted on the split-jury verdict.
Oregon is the only state where someone can be convicted without a unanimous vote on any felony charge other than murder.