GRESHAM, OR (KPTV) - A Multnomah County judge handed down a life sentence to the man convicted of running down a black man with a Jeep in Gresham nearly three years ago.
Russell Courtier, 40, received his sentence on Tuesday after being found guilty in March of murder, hit and run, and second-degree intimidation, which is a hate crime charge. His sentence includes a minimum of 32 years without parole.
Those charges stem back to August 2016 when investigators say Courtier ran down 19-year-old Larnell Bruce with his Jeep Wrangler following a fight outside a 7-Eleven on the 18700 block of East Burnside Street.
Bruce died several days later at the hospital from the critical injuries he sustained.
During the trial, prosecutors argued that it was a racially-motivated attack and Courtier was a self-admitted member of a white supremacist group.
In court Tuesday, Bruce's father made powerful statements speaking directly to Courtier.
"That ideology that you have, that's not good for anybody," he said. "I refuse to hate a whole race over something that someone like you has done."
Other members of Bruce's family told Courtier about a nonprofit they have now started in support of other hate crime victim's families.
Larnell Bruce’s biological mother speaks directly to Courtier, describing the loss she has suffered. While she spoke, Courtier looked like he was tearing up. pic.twitter.com/zxPw4WRzfE— Tyler Dumont (@TylerDumontNews) April 16, 2019
Courtier did not speak in the courtroom.
Bruce's family spoke to reporters following the sentencing.
"This is a step toward what is going on right now, in the nation, and if there's more angry individuals who contemplate doing these things, there will be action towards them, and they will suffer for what they've done," said Natasha Bruce, Larnell Bruce's mother.
Colleen Hunt, 37, was also inside the Jeep when Courtier hit Bruce.
Prosecutors say Hunt encouraged Courtier to hit him.
Hunt pleaded guilty last month to first-degree manslaughter. She was sentenced Tuesday afternoon to 10 years in prison, with credit for time served. She must also serve three years of post-prison supervision.
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