Bond Set For Vet Accused Of Killing A White Burglar
In Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, LaRue Bratcher has been behind bars for a first-degree murder charge more than a year after he shot and killed a white man allegedly trying to break into his marijuana growing business. After outrage on social media, Bratcher has been given a bond amount.
The Black Times OK reports the bond, which has been set for $400,000, will be paid by Black Lives Matter Oklahoma. Bratcher has not yet been released, but it is hoped that he will be home as he awaits trial, which is set to start in October.
On May 27, 2020, around 1 a.m., Bratcher was at his grow operation warehouse when Daniel Hardwick, a 42-year-old white man, allegedly attempted to break into the business for the second consecutive night. Surveillance shows Hardwick parking his car at the rear of the business, walking to the business’s door and jostling with the door handle, trying to gain entry.
“He was trying to break in when the business owner, who was inside the business at the time, apparently opened fire with a handgun, striking and killing the man who was breaking in,” Master Sgt. Gary Knight with the Oklahoma City Police Department told KFOR.
Right after the incident, Bratcher called police, who arrested him after finding out his business’ license had expired, turning it illegitimate and causing him to possess a felony amount of marijuana. Initially, he was not arrested for Hardwick’s death.
A day after Bratcher’s arrest, he was released on bond. However, a week later, the OKC district attorney’s office reviewed the case and upgraded Bratcher’s charges to second degree murder. After refusing to accept a plea deal late last year, Bratcher’s charges were upgraded to first degree murder.
Authorities also seized 480 marijuana plants.
In May, Clay Curtis, one of the family attorneys, told Black News Channel (BNC) about the 2nd-degree murder charge, “I think they’ve got their work cut out for them. I think they are going to have more than a tough time proving that he intentionally committed murder.”
If convicted on the first degree murder charge, Bratcher could receive a life sentence.