Russell Courtier and Colleen Hunt are accused of fatally running down a black teen, Larnell Bruce, with their red Jeep Wrangler on Aug. 10 in Gresham, Oregon.
Courtier and Hunt, who live with Courtier’s parents, stopped at a 7-Eleven store just before midnight when they saw Bruce charging his cellphone from an exterior outlet, a female friend told police, notes The Portland Mercury.
A fight allegedly erupted between Bruce and Courtier, while Hunt reportedly shouted to Courtier, "Get him, baby! Get him, baby!"
Courtier allegedly slammed Bruce’s head into the 7-Eleven front window, prompting the clerk inside to call 911.
The fight reportedly ended when Bruce pulled a machete on Courtier.
Courtier and Hunt got back into the Jeep, and allegedly tried to run down Bruce, who escaped the first attempt on a sidewalk.
Prosecutors say Courtier chased the 19-year-old African-American "across oncoming lanes of traffic and then intentionally struck him with the front of the vehicle."
Police soon arrived on the scene, and found Bruce bleeding from his head and ears in the street. The teen died a couple of days later.
Gresham police arrived on the scene, and pulled over Courtier and Hunt who reportedly admitted to running down Bruce, and were subsequently indicted by a grand jury on murder charges on Aug. 18.
Courtier has a lengthy criminal record for weapons and violent crimes, has served time in prison, and was on parole at the time of the alleged incident with Bruce.
Courtier has been part of the European Kindred, a white supremacist gang that started in Oregon, reports The Portland Mercury.
After Courtier was arrested for Bruce's murder, European Kindred members showed their support for Courtier on Facebook:
"Hopefully they drop the murder for just assault. Luv u Russ keep your head up."
"They tested kindred and homeboy did not hesitate."
"Its not russes falt duds a punk and got ran over."
Gresham Police Detective Aaron Turnage said he knew of Courtier’s relationship with the European Kindred, but said it’s "unknown at this time" if the murder was racially inspired.
The Southern Poverty Law Center reported in 2013 that the "European Kindred is a prison-based gang."
Randy Blazak, a Portland State University professor of sociology who studies hate groups, told the SPLC in 2014: "The most consistent presence has been that of drug-dealing biker gangs that overlap with white prison gangs, like European Kindred and the Brood."
Sources: The Portland Mercury, Southern Poverty Law Center (2) / Photo credit: Gresham Police Department via The Portland Mercury