Man charged with murder of Black man who complimented his girlfriend
BEND, Ore. (CNN) - A man in Oregon now faces second-degree murder charges in the death of a Black man who spoke to his girlfriend outside of a club last month.
Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel says 27-year-old Ian Cranston fatally shot 22-year-old Barry Washington Jr. on Sept. 19 after Washington complimented his girlfriend outside of a club in Bend, Oregon.
A grand jury indicted Cranston on six charges Thursday in connection to the shooting, including second-degree murder.
The district attorney says the case is racially charged, but hate crime charges haven’t been filed against Cranston, who is white, due to insufficient evidence. Washington was Black.
At a news conference Thursday, Hummel spoke about the country’s history of lynching Black men for talking to white women, saying hundreds of people called and wrote his office to remind him of that.
Hummel also said he informed Washington’s mother, Lawanda Roberson, of the stronger charges against her son’s alleged killer and she “thanked God,” KTVZ reports.
Cranston’s attorney says video evidence shows Washington attacked his client first, and he accuses the district attorney of fanning the flames of an intense situation.
Cranston initially faced manslaughter charges. He’s being held without bail.
The case remains under investigation.
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