Family Of Man Charged With Murder Says He Was Defending Himself

Sunday, May 9th 2021, 4:18 pm


Family and friends of a man charged with murder after shooting a burglary suspect gathered in a show of support on Saturday afternoon.   

Last year, business owner Larue Bratcher killed a man who broke into his grow shop.

"When you're in trouble, somebody has to fight for you," Derrick Neighbors, Larue Bratcher's uncle, said. "This is my family and we're going to fight for him."

Bratcher owns an marijuana grow shop near Southeast 22nd Street and South Eastern Avenue.  According to police, a man attempted to break into the shop last May.  That's when investigators said Bratcher shot and killed him.

"Someone broke into his place," Neighbors said. "He didn't go out looking for trouble. He was in his own place of business."

The man killed was identified as 42-year-old Daniel Hardwick.  According to police, Bratcher was initially arrested for operating the business without a proper permit. Police confiscated 480 marijuana plants worth an estimated $1.5 million.

The following month, while out on bond, the district attorney filed a second-degree murder charge. Bratcher was arrested again while he was at home with his family.

"At that time, I had the baby who was six months old, and to have a gun pointed at her face, that was horrible," Vicky Bratcher, Larue's wife, said. "It was a horrible experience."

His charge was later upgraded to first-degree murder. His wife is now caring for their children alone while also operating the business.

"It's just me with the kids and to know that you go from one charge to the next charge and not knowing what's going to happen," Bratcher said. "It's like our life is at suspense right now."

Bratcher's trial is set to begin later this month.