LaRue Bratcher Biography LaRue Bratcher Wiki
LaRue Bratcher, a 34-year-old Oklahoma Black Army veteran, remains behind bars for first degree murder for more than a year after shooting a white man who allegedly tried to break into his store.
After the trial date was postponed to the end of the year, LaRue Bratcher family, friends and Oklahoma City community members are supporting him, saying the murder charges are unfair.
Guilty of being a black person 😡https://t.co/tehjD1wgHw
LaRue Bratcher, a Black Army vet, remains behind bars over a year after he shot and killed a white man allegedly trying to break into his marijuana grow busine…
— 💚TIN💚 (@KChugg1011) June 2, 2021
“I think it’s an injustice for the simple fact that if the tables were turned, if there was a white person in the facility, they wouldn’t be in that situation,” his wife told Yahoo News. Bratcher, Vicky Bratcher, in a video. Interview.
“Someone broke into his apartment,” Bratcher’s uncle Derrick Neighbors said at a rally last month. “I wasn’t looking for trouble. He was at his workplace. “
In 2018, when Oklahoma voters legalized medical marijuana, LaRue Bratcher Premium Smoke LLC, a marijuana grow store in Oklahoma City, whose business license expired a year later. Bratcher had planned to renew his license in 2019, his wife said, but learned he was not allowed to do so until he kept the warehouse he was staying in, valued at nearly of $ 100,000 itself under control.
At around 1 a.m. on May 8, 2020, LaRue Bratcher was in the producer’s warehouse when Daniel Hardwick, a 42-year-old white man, allegedly attempted to enter the business for the second night in a row. Video from that night shows Hardwick parking his car in the back of the store, walking up to the store door and pulling the doorknob to enter.
What Gary Knight Said ?
“I was trying to get in when the business owner who was with the business at the time apparently opened fire with a gun and hit and killed the man who entered,” said the sergeant major. Oklahoma City Police Department Gary Knight told KFOR.
LaRue Bratcher called police shortly after the shooting and, when there, officers called the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority to make sure the deal was legal. When they discovered that the company’s license had expired, Bratcher was arrested for illegally operating a grow store, a felony, and held on $ 5,000 bond. However, he was not initially arrested after Hardwick’s death. In addition to Bratcher’s arrest, authorities also seized 480 marijuana plants with an estimated value of $ 1,500,000.
A day after his arrest, LaRue Bratcher was released on bail. But just a week later, the city attorney investigated the case and deferred Bratcher’s charges of second degree murder. A week later, the police broke into Bratcher’s house, escorted him, his children and his wife down the street and arrested Bratcher again. Then, after refusing to agree to a plea deal late last year, Bratcher’s charges were elevated to first degree murder. The family told Yahoo News they didn’t understand why.
Those convicted of second degree murder in Oklahoma face a minimum of 10 years in prison up to a life sentence of 45 years in the state of Oklahoma, with 85% probation after being served their sentence. Sentences for inmates in first degree murder vary, but include life in prison without parole or death.
Although Oklahoma is a state with a Defend Your Position law or castle doctrine, those rights do not apply to those convicted of a crime. Prosecutors say that because Bratcher ran his growing business without a license, he was a criminal and any self-defense clause is denied.
Knight also told Yahoo News that Bratcher couldn’t shoot him because Hardwick was on the other side of the door.
“[Bratcher] shot a thief who was working on the doorknob,” Knight said. “To use lethal force, you have to make your own decision, or the life of an innocent person is in imminent danger. The boy was on the other side of the door. … This is not “resist”. “”
Knight added that after Hardwick’s death, officials did not initially arrest Bratcher as it was not their job to determine who was right or wrong. The police are solely responsible for gathering all information at the scene, Knight said, and “it is up to the prosecutor to decide from there.”
The Oklahoma County Attorney’s Office did not respond to a request for comment from Yahoo News.
Bratcher’s attorney, Clay Curtis, believes Bratcher acted “sensibly” without the “expected” defense.
“The evidence shows that Mr. Bratcher acted wisely in those circumstances,” Curtis told Yahoo News. “I think everyone would be afraid for their life under these circumstances. … In this case, it’s not about our marijuana culture in relation to murder, but whether people think they have acted sensibly in the circumstances.
Bratcher’s wife, who also served in the United States Army, believes the courts are persecuting Hardwick and using her husband’s military training against her.
“We are fighting for this country and in the end it feels like coming home and that means nobody,” said Vicky Bratcher.
Vicky added that during last year’s bail hearing, prosecutors said her husband was a “threat to the community” due to his previous combat training and experience with a weapon.
“They used our veteran experience [against us],” she said. “It’s literally a slap in the face.”
A petition in support of Bratcher’s release had received more than 5,800 signatures by Tuesday afternoon. Dozens of protesters marched through downtown Oklahoma City last month to support Bratcher and demonstrate outside the county jail.
“When you’re in trouble, someone has to fight for you,” said Neighbors, Bratcher’s uncle. “He is my family and we will fight for him”.
The date of the trial against Bratcher has been set for 11 October this year.
Vicky Bratcher has mixed feelings and is cautiously optimistic that justice will prevail.
“I feel drained … my heart is broken,” she said. “The whole year was very difficult. I still keep the shop, look after the kids and make sure everything is in order when they get home. But it was hard to know that I don’t know what’s going to happen.