TULSA, Okla. – Two men charged with first-degree murder and hate crimes in the shooting deaths of three people in Tulsa last year pleaded guilty Monday and were sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Alvin Watts and Jake England changed their previous pleas of not guilty in Tulsa County District Court as part of a plea deal in which prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty against them.
England apologized and said he takes responsibility for his actions. Watts said nothing when offered a chance to speak in court.
Watts, 24, and England, 21, were charged with first-degree murder, shooting with intent to kill and five hate crimes in the Easter weekend 2012 shootings of William Allen, Bobby Clark and Dannaer Fields, who were killed as they walked near their Tulsa homes. Two others were shot and wounded.
All five victims were black. Watts is white and England has said he is Cherokee Indian.
District Court Judge James Caputo sentenced both men to three terms of life in prison without parole for the murder convictions. The two were each given two more life terms for shooting with intent to kill and five, one-year prison terms for the hate crimes.