Alabama woman suspected in botched, fatal motel robbery arrested in Louisiana

Published 6:10 pm Thursday, February 25, 2021

A woman who is a suspect in a homicide in Alabama has been arrested in Lake Charles, according to authorities.

Amanda Joy Buras, 34, was arrested Wednesday after the Lake Charles Police SWAT team received information she was in this area.

The fugitive was taken into custody in a combined effort by Lake Charles Police, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Marshals Violent Offender Task Force, and Louisiana State Police.

Buras is wanted in Shelby County, Alabama for felon murder and first-degree armed robbery. Buras was one of four people sought in connection with the October 16, 2020, botched motel robbery that turned fatal.

Justin Bruno, 22, was killed during the crime.

Buras is charged locally with possession of heroin, methamphetamine, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Buras is being held at the Calcasieu Correctional Center while awaiting extradition to Alabama.

Two others, Mandrel Jarmane Datcher, 22, and Morgan Terra Thornton, 31, were arrested earlier and charged with felony murder and first-degree robbery. A fourth suspect who hasn’t been named is also sought by police.

Bruno was one of the five people who allegedly attacked a night manager of a motel and was beating him as they tried to steal his money.

A Good Samaritan staying in a room at the hotel heard the commotion and came to the man’s help, ultimately shooting and killing Bruno.