The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

April 13, 2012

Murder, hate crime charges in Tulsa shootings

TULSA, Okla. — Oklahoma prosecutors filed murder and hate crime charges Friday against two men arrested in an Easter weekend shooting spree that left three people dead and terrorized Tulsa’s black community.

Jake England, 19, and his roommate, Alvin Watts, 33, each are charged with three counts of first-degree murder, two counts of shooting with intent to kill and five counts of malicious harassment. The harassment counts allege the victims were targeted because of their race.

Police say the men, who were arrested early Sunday after a two-day manhunt, appeared to have chosen five victims at random. Three died and two others were wounded. Under state law, first-degree murder is punishable by death or life in prison. Prosecutors said decisions about whether to seek the death penalty are usually made after a preliminary hearing.

“Filing charges is the first step to obtain justice for the victims and their families,” said Doug Drummond, Tulsa County First Assistant District Attorney. “This is a tragic and senseless crime. Our office is committed to holding those responsible accountable for their actions.”

Court documents say both men confessed, England to shooting three people and Watts to shooting two. All the victims were black and police have said one motive might have been England’s desire to avenge his father’s fatal shooting by a black man two years ago. Documents do not list an attorney for either man, who a judge ruled Friday will be held without bond. They will be arraigned on the charges Monday.

A probable cause affidavit filed with the charges said anonymous callers to a police department hotline before the men were arrested claimed England was a racist who hated black men and that he “has mentioned he will die in a shoot out with the police if he has to.”

England’s family and friends have said the death of his father and his girlfriend’s January suicide sent the younger England into a downward spiral — he apparently wrote a Facebook post marking the second anniversary of his father’s death and lamented that “it’s hard not to go off.”

England’s father, Carl, was fatally shot in 2010 by a black man who had threatened Carl England’s daughter. After tracking down Pernell Jefferson, the men fought and Carl England was fatally shot. Jefferson was not charged with homicide because an investigation determined he acted in self-defense.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Carthage prepares for Marian Days

    The 37th annual Marian Days celebration will start in two weeks, and planning is well under way for the event that will bring tens of thousands of Catholics of Vietnamese descent to Carthage.

    July 23, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: It’s not Mayberry, but Carthage is close

    When I was a kid, I wanted to live in Mayberry. In a way, I suppose I still want to live in Mayberry, the fictional town featured in the classic Andy Griffith show of the 1960s.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Miami council waives fees for barbecue event

    The Miami City Council voted Tuesday to waive $3,750 in usage fees for Miami Elks Lodge No. 1320 for an upcoming barbecue championship at the Miami Fairgrounds.

    July 23, 2014

  • Joplin couple indicted in child porn case

    A federal grand jury indicted a Joplin couple Wednesday for alleged sexual exploitation of a second child in addition to a girl who was the subject of a preceding indictment of the husband for allegedly producing and distributing child pornography.

    July 23, 2014

  • Galena council rescinds landfill decisions

    The Galena City Council voted Wednesday to rescind decisions it made two weeks ago regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 23, 2014

  • Missouri attorney general defends his support of Amendment 1

    With a large cornfield behind him and campaign signs all around, Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster appeared Wednesday at the David Collard farm to tout Amendment 1, an Aug. 5 ballot measure that would make the “right to farm” part of the state constitution.

    July 23, 2014

  • Joplin school board reviews audit procedures

    A team from the Missouri State Auditor’s Office has begun requesting documents in its task to audit the operations and management of the Joplin School District, the audit manager told the Board of Education on Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin man to stand trial in accident case

    A passenger accused of causing an accident on Interstate 44 in Joplin that injured three others as well as himself was ordered bound over for trial Tuesday on three felony counts.

    July 22, 2014

  • Pseudoephedrine sales in Pittsburg to require prescription

    Starting Friday, those who purchase pseudoephedrine and related products in Pittsburg will need a prescription to do so.

    July 22, 2014

  • r072214soroptimist3.jpg Volunteers spend week providing camp experience to foster youths

    Karen McGlamery is a massage therapist. Terri Falis-Cochran is a finance manager. Jane McCaulley is a retired art teacher. But for a week each summer, the three are among dozens of area residents who become camp counselors.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

Have you ever served as a volunteer for your state's conservation department?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter