A jury trial for a Black marijuana grower in Oklahoma accused of murdering an alleged burglar, who was white, is set for October, setting the stage for a potentially racially charged case.
LaRue Bratcher, a military veteran and formerly licensed marijuana grower, will go on trial Oct. 24 in Oklahoma County for second-degree murder, unlawful cultivation of marijuana, and three related charges, according to court records.
Though Bratcher was originally a legal cannabis grower in Oklahoma in 2018, he couldn’t the afford state-mandated upgrades to his operation.
His license expired in 2020, but he kept cultivating in the hopes of regaining the license and keeping the business alive.
At the time, Daniel Hardwick allegedly tried to break into Bratcher’s grow.
Bratcher shot Hardwick through a door, killing him.
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Because of his expired marijuana cultivation permit, Bratcher was charged with murder.
His cause was taken up by Oklahoma activists who contend Bratcher would never have been charged if the race roles were reversed.
John Schroyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.