An Oregon couple accused of running down and killing a 19-year-old black man last month are now also facing hate crime charges after they were linked to a white supremacist group, according to CBS News.
Russell Orlando Courtier and his girlfriend Colleen Hunt were previously charged with the murder of Larnell Malik Bruce after the couple allegedly had an altercation with Bruce in a Gresham, Oregon, 7-Eleven parking lot, prompting Courtier to jump into his Jeep and chase down Bruce with Hunt in the passenger seat.
Initially, Courtier and Hunt were charged with murder, but investigators followed up on a report by the Portland Mercury, which unearthed pictures on Courtier’s Facebook page showing a tattoo on his calf reading “EK.” The initials reportedly stand for “European Kindred,” a white supremacist gang founded in Oregon’s prison system.
According to the Mercury, Courtier, 38, joined up with the gang while serving time at Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in Pendleton. The prison's disciplinary records reportedly detail times Courtier admitted to being part of the gang. Hunt, 35, was not immediately linked to the gang.
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Investigators dug deeper and tapped experts on white supremacists and interviewed more witnesses, before filing the new charges. The couple is now charged with first and second-degree intimidation, which under Oregon law accuses them of “acting based on their perception of the victim’s race, color, religion, or disability, the Associated Press reported.
On the night of Aug. 10, surveillance video captured Courtier and Bruce arguing in the parking lot before Courtier pursued him in his car. Bruce attempted to flee on foot. The video shows Courtier’s car moving toward him, but it did not show the teen being hit. According to court documents, the responding police officer found Bruce unconscious and bleeding and also saw a red Jeep fleeing the scene. The video also captures Hunt yelling, “Get him, baby. Get him!”
Bruce, from Vancouver, Washington, died three days later from his injuries.