By Justin Juozapavicius
The Associated Press
TULSA — 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 deal in which prosecutors agreed to spare the death penalty. Members of the victims’ families also agreed to the punishment, prosecutors said.
England admitted going on the rampage with Watts with the aim of killing black people. England also apologized to the city’s black community.
Watts said nothing when offered a chance to speak in court, only admitting to helping England carry out the rampage.
Watts, 34, and England, 21, were charged with first-degree murder, shooting with intent to kill and five hate crimes in the 2012 shootings of William Allen, Bobby Clark and Dannaer Fields, who were killed as they walked near their Tulsa homes on Easter weekend. Two others were shot and wounded.
District Court Judge James Caputo sentenced both men to three terms of life in prison without parole for the murder convictions. The two were given two more life terms for shooting with intent to kill and five, one-year prison terms for the hate crimes.
Breaking news, severe weather alerts, AMBER alerts, sports scores from The Norman Transcript are available as text messages right to your phone or mobile device. You decide which type of alerts you want to receive. Find out more or to signup, click here.