TULSA, Okla. – Prosecutors said Friday they would seek the death penalty against two Tulsa men charged in the April 2012 shooting rampage that killed three black people and left two others wounded.
Jake England, 20, and Alvin Watts, 33, are charged with first-degree murder in the killings of William Allen, Bobby Clark and Dannaer Fields, who were shot over Easter weekend as they walked near their homes. England and Watts are due to be arraigned Wednesday in district court. They also face hate crimes charges.
The shootings happened in a predominantly black section of Tulsa — not far from where one of the nation's worst race riots happened more than 90 years ago — and all five victims were black.
Authorities have said England may have targeted black people because he wanted to avenge the death of his father, who was shot by a black man in 2010. But England, who describes himself as Cherokee Indian, has said he has no ill will toward black people.
At a hearing in July, England's uncle testified that England and Watts treated the mass shootings as a contest. Timothy Hoey said Watts told him a day after the killings that Watts and England each shot two people and England shot the fifth victim "that would break the tie," Hoey said.
Hoey also testified that the day after the shootings, England used racial slurs to describe whom they shot.
During that emotional testimony, England and Watts were stone-faced, sometimes looking down at the floor.