Barry Washington Jr: Oregon man accused of killing man who spoke to his girlfriend

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A grand jury this week indicted Ian Mackenzie Cranston, a 27-year-old white man, with six counts in connection with the shooting last month of Barry Washington Jr., 22, a black man, the county prosecutor of Deschutes, John Hummel announced Thursday at a press conference following Cranston’s arrest.

These charges include second degree murder, first degree manslaughter, second degree manslaughter, first degree assault and two counts of unlawful use of a weapon.

Cranston appeared in court on Friday and is being held in Deschutes County Jail without bail. He did not file a plea.

In a statement released to CNN on Saturday, Kevin Sali, an attorney for Cranston, said: “There is compelling video evidence that even before Ian Cranston drew his gun, Barry Washington had attacked him without provocation, resulting in personal injury. the head that forced the police to take Mr. Cranston to the hospital where a brain scan and other procedures had to be done. “

According to CNN affiliate KTVZ, Hummel previously said that before the shooting, Washington complimented Cranston’s girlfriend, but that there was “no allegation that anything Mr. Washington did was inappropriate.” .

“He complimented her in a respectful manner,” Hummel said, according to KTVZ. “She was fine. She said,” No, thank you. I am flattered but I am in a relationship. “

However, Cranston was “not happy,” Hummel said. “He said a few words to Mr. Washington. Mr. Washington said a few words in return,” Hummel said. “There were pushes, shoves, punches thrown, but then it calmed down. It wasn’t going to get out of hand. Then Mr. Cranston pulled a gun from his belt and shot and killed Mr. Washington. “

While Cranston is white and Washington is black, Hummel did not seek a hate crime charge, he said, telling reporters he felt prosecutors did not have enough evidence to plead. the case for the moment. However, the case remains under investigation.

“If we get sufficient evidence to prove that this shooting was at least partially motivated by race, we will return to this grand jury and ask them to add the charge,” he said.

“It is believed that the initial interaction between Barry and Mr. Cranston began when Barry complimented Mr. Cranston’s girlfriend,” Hummel said. “Our country has a shameful history of bashing, prosecuting and lynching black men for talking to white women. Over the past week, hundreds of people have called me and sent me e- mails to remind me of this story. “

Cranston’s attorney disputed Hummel’s comments at the press conference, saying in his statement: “After the evidence has been presented at trial, I hope someone will ask the district attorney why he deliberately set the fire on fire. community with statements he knew were not supported by any evidence. “

After the charges were announced, Washington mother Lawanda Roberson posted on Facebook that “This is really overwhelming” and that she hadn’t even started crying.

“The legal record is a lot… while trying to get my son to rest,” she said.


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