|Updated: 8/14/2012 9:40 pm
||Published: 7/18/2012 8:22 pm
Two men accused of fatally shooting three black people and wounding two more in what authorities describe as racially motivated shootings, have been bound over for trial.
A judge ruled 19-year-old Jake England's confession will be admissible. England and 33-year-old Alvin Watts are charged with murder and hate crimes stemming from the Easter weekend shootings that killed William Allen, Bobby Clark and Dannaer Fields as they were walking near their homes.
Several witnesses testified last month, before the preliminary hearing was continued to August 14th, so the judge could review some documents, including an interview with England done by Tulsa Police.
Jacob England’s fiancee’s mother, Cindy Wilde, testified on the day after the shootings she asked England if he did it and he admitted he did.
She told the court after she heard about the shootings on the news she asked England if he heard about the shootings involving black people.
She testified about their first conversation.
Wilde: "You wouldn't do something like that?
England: "Yes, I might have."
Wilde: “What happened?”
England: "Took off to the casino and shot someone. Came back and shot more people."
She also testified he told her he used the gun he sold to her and that he would never get caught because he used his newer truck with the older truck’s license plate. Wilde told the court she asked England to tell her more about the shootings.
England told her he would ask for directions and shoot people. His muffler fell off his truck so it was loud. The same accounts witnesses had told police.
She also testified she called England after this admission and Alvin Watts answered the phone and whispered, “I just freaked out and ran.” She then talked to England who said they were hiding out.
“Jake, give yourself up for the baby,” said England. “No Cindy, I can’t, I can’t.”
She testified England hung up the phone and she went to police with what she England told her.
England’s uncle, Timothy Hoey, also took the stand and testified he was with England and Watts when they were talking about the shootings. He said Watts said he killed two people and knew they were dead. The suspects called the victims racial expletives.
“They were having a contest,” said Hoey. They were arguing about shooting the last one.”
The last victim was the only woman, Dannaer Fields.
"It doesn't seem like they had a plan at all,” said Fields’ brother Kenneth Fields.
In all three people died, two other were shot and all the victims were black.
"It's tragic to me to think it was a contest of killing people. Who shot the most. To hear that in a courtroom saddens and sickens me, the value of life is no more than that. That we are going through the community killing people,” said Tulsa NAACP chapter President Rev. Warren Blakney.
Other family members who took the stand said they saw England and Watts cleaning out the truck.
The pair was arrested in the early morning of Easter Sunday.
The victims who survived, Deon Tucker and David Hall, also testified and said two white men pulled up to the house they were at and asked for directions and shots were fired.
Family of the victims and investigators also took the stand.
Late Wednesday, a judge issued a continuance for the hearing because of questions about when Miranda rights were read to the suspects.
The hate crime charges were not brought up during the preliminary hearing. Since they are misdemeanor crimes they will not be addressed until trial.
Watts and England's district court arraignment has been scheduled for August 20th at 9 a.m. The defense attorney will also be allowed to argue dismissing England's confession.