Local

Jury Finds PTSD Drove Soldier To Murder

OPB | Dec. 8, 2009 12:45 a.m. | Updated: July 17, 2012 1:09 a.m. | Portland, OR

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By April Baer

A former Oregon Guardsman has avoided a prison term, after a jury found PTSD drove him to murder. He's been sentenced to the custody of state psychiatrists. April Baer reports.


27-year old Jessie Bratcher joined the Oregon Guard and served a 2005 tour of duty that friends and family say left him a changed man.

Last year, he killed the man his girlfriend claimed had raped and impregnated her.

Now Judge William Kramer has now sent Bratcher to the Oregon Psychiatric Security Review Board, at the State Hospital in Salem.

Grant County prosecutor Ryan Joslin.

Ryan Joslin: “He’s under the jurisdiction of PSRB for life. That could be the case, but at any point, if Mr. Bratcher’s determined to no longer have a mental disease or to no longer be a danger to the community, then PSRB is obligated to release him at that point.”

Joslin says the victim’s family was not fully satisfied with the outcome of the case. They’d hoped Bratcher would be sent to prison.

Joslin says while Bratcher’s PTSD defense was a first in Oregon, he believes the case will not set a precedent.

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