- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 6, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - A couple accused of intentionally running down a black teenager will remain behind bars until the outcome of a murder trial.

Colleen Hunt, 35, called for the hearing and asked Judge Jerry Hodson to allow her release from jail until the 2017 trial, reported The Oregonian/OregonLive (https://bit.ly/2gzHX0T). But Hodson sided with prosecutors, who on Monday played a surveillance video of the August incident - the first time the video was shown in public.

Prosecutors say Hunt encouraged her boyfriend, 38-year-old Russell Courtier, to drive his Jeep into 19-year-old Larnell Bruce Jr. after the two men scuffled outside a 7-Eleven in Gresham. Race was a motivating factor in the attack, according to authorities, who have said the couple has ties to white supremacists.

Three eyewitnesses heard Hunt shout “Run him over!” to Courtier, according to prosecutor David Hannon. The surveillance video shows Bruce sprinting away from the Jeep seconds before he was fatally struck. Gresham police have also testified that Courtier was accelerating rapidly as he chased Bruce and even drove into oncoming traffic and onto a sidewalk during the pursuit.

Hodson found that the “presumption is strong” that Hunt was an accomplice to murder.

Hunt and Courtier have pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and intimidation, a hate crime. Courtier did not request release from jail pending trial.

Gresham Detective Aaron Turnage testified that the attack left Bruce with “an unsurvivable traumatic brain injury.” He died three days later.

Defense attorney Jon Sarre told the judge that Hunt was in the Jeep and wouldn’t have been able to stop Courtier unless she had been able to reason with him or force the stick shift into a neutral gear. He also argued that the state witnesses are biased because they were friends with Bruce.


Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, https://www.oregonlive.com

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