Alabama woman wanted for armed robbery and homicide arrested in Lake Charles

Alabama woman wanted for armed robbery and homicide arrested in Lake Charles
Amanda Buras, wanted out of Alabama for for first-degree armed robbery and felony homicide, was arrested Wednesday, Feb. 24, in Lake Charles, Louisiana. (Source: Department of Transportation)

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - A woman wanted in Alabama for first-degree armed robbery and felony homicide was arrested in Lake Charles Wednesday.

Amanda Buras, 33, is wanted out of Shelby County, Alabama.

Sgt. Brenda Desormeaux, spokeswoman for the Lake Charles Police Department, said officers with the Combined Anti-Drug Team received information Wednesday on Buras’ whereabouts.

Buras was apprehended through a joint effort of the Lake Charles Police Department, the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office, Louisiana State Police, and the U.S. Marshal’s Office.

Buras faces local charges of possession of heroin, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

Buras is being housed at the Calcasieu Correctional Center, awaiting extradition back to Alabama.

Buras was wanted in the Harpersville Motel Robbery/Homicide in Harpersville. Two people are in custody in the case. Investigators said one of their friends, Justin Bruno, 22, was shot to death during the robbery on Oct. 16, 2020 at the Harpersville Motel.

Mandrel Jarmane Datcher, a 22-year-old Childersburg man, was booked into the Shelby County Jail Monday, Feb, 22. Morgan Terra Thornton, 31, of Sterrett, was arrested Feb. 11 and remains held on bonds totaling $210,000. Both are charged with felony murder and first-degree robbery. A man whose identity has not yet been released also is sought on the same charges.

Shelby County Sheriff’s Maj. Clay Hammac provided this statement on Buras’ arrest: “Her warrant for arrest had nationwide extradition and we are grateful to our partners at the US Marshal’s Service for their assistance in bringing her to justice. We anticipate additional arrests in this case.”

Hammac said that night in October the five suspects forced their way into the motel room where the 57-year-old night manager lived. Hammac said the victim was targeted in the robbery, and he cried out for help as he was being beaten. Hammac said a good samaritan in a nearby room heard the manager’s pleas and responded. He tried to open the door, but it was barricaded. He then fired shots into the ground, hoping to scare the suspects.

Hammac said the suspects moved away from the door and retreated to the rear of the motel room. The good samaritan opened the door, was fired on and returned fire, striking Bruno who was killed.

The other four suspects fled the scene before police arrived. The manager was treated for serious injuries.

Harpersville police initially led the investigation with assistance from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, which took over the lead last year.

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