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April 9, 2012 at 10:19 PM   |   Comments

Police say Tulsa suspects confessed

TULSA, Okla., April 9 (UPI) -- Two suspects jailed in the deadly Tulsa, Okla., shooting spree that targeted black men confessed, police documents showed Monday.

Tulsa's KRMG Radio reported city police officer Jason Willingham confirmed the arrest and booking report show Alvin Watts confessed to shooting two people and Jake England admitted shooting three. Willingham told the radio station investigators believe Watts shot two of the three victims who died, meaning England shot one who died and the two survivors, Deon Tucker and David Hall.

KRMG also reported that while the suspects have been described as white, it had learned at least one, England, may be a member of the Cherokee Indian tribe.

England, 19, and Watts, 33, were ordered held in jail Monday on $9.16 million bail each. They made their first appearance before a judge via closed circuit video, the Tulsa World reported.

England and Watts didn't speak during the video appearance before Special District Judge Bill Hiddle.

Meanwhile, Tulsa police were investigating whether the suspects took turns firing at the victims, ABC News reported.

The shootings began about 1 a.m. Friday in north Tulsa. The first victim died at a hospital. Another person was shot and killed about 2 a.m. The body of the third victim was found about 8 a.m. next to a funeral home.

The dead were identified as Dannaer Fields, 49, Bobby Clark, 54, and William Allen, 31.

The two survivors were discharged from the hospital Sunday, Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan said.


Wildfires rage in several U.S. states

NIMROD, Minn., April 9 (UPI) -- Wildfires were burning in several U.S. states Monday, including one in northern Minnesota that had blacked about 1,400 acres, officials said.

Jean Goad of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said the Nimrod-area fire, fanned by gusting winds, was 3 miles wide at one point as it burned through grass, trees and swampland, WCCO-TV, Minneapolis reported. Helicopters and airplanes were being used to drop water on the flames.

The fire had burned a mobile home used as a hunting shack and an attached garage at a residence. No injuries were reported.

In New Jersey, a wildfire that had burned about 1,000 acres of the Pinelands in Burlington County was about 50 percent contained by Monday afternoon, newjerseynewsroom.com reported. Winds also were hampering firefighters' efforts there.

The Pinelands blaze had posed a potential threat two a couple dozen houses, though no mandatory evacuations had been ordered, officials said.

Another fire at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in Burlington County had burned about 300 acres, the news Web site said.

No one was reported hurt in the New Jersey fires.

In Virginia, a wildfire burned about 700 acres in Page County, WHSV-TV, Harrisonburg, Va., reported.

The state Forestry Department said the fire was totally out of control Monday afternoon.

Wildfires also were burning in Florida. The Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville reported one fire, started by a lightning strike, was about 30 percent contained after burning nearly 12,000 acres of mostly forest land at the Columbia-Baker county line.

Another fire had burned 450 acres in Putnam County and was 90 percent contained.

"The state is dry right now, so we can all pray for rain. In the meantime we have to make sure everybody's cautious," Florida Gov. Rick Scott said.


S. Korea police chief apologizes, resigns

SEOUL, April 9 (UPI) -- South Korea's national police chief resigned Monday after apologizing for the police response to an emergency call from a woman killed by her kidnapper.

Cho Hyun-oh, commissioner of the National Police Agency, resigned amid criticism of the handling of the April 1 emergency call, CNN reported.

South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported the mutilated body of the 28-year-old victim was found at the house of the murder suspect in Suwon, late on the morning of April 2, about 13 hours after she called police.

In a call that lasted 7 minutes, 36 seconds, she gave a detailed description of her location and said she was being abducted and raped, a recording of the phone call revealed.

Police had claimed the call lasted only 15 seconds, that the victim didn't give her exact location and that 35 police officers responded to the scene.

But she actually gave what Yonhap called a "relatively clear" explanation of her location and only six officers responded.

At a news conference Monday, Cho said: "I pray for the victim's soul, express my condolences to her family, and ask for forgiveness. I blame myself deeply and express my heartfelt apology for the carelessness of the police and the horrendous results it led to, as well as for causing disappointment to the people through the police's attempt to cover up and their lies."

A 42-year-old Korean-Chinese man with the surname Woo has been arrested in the woman's slaying.


Poll: Opinion of Supreme Court rises

WASHINGTON, April 9 (UPI) -- Performance ratings for the U.S. Supreme Court rose after the justices heard the challenge to the 2-year-old healthcare reform law, Rasmussen Reports said.

Forty-one percent of likely U.S. voters said they considered the Supreme Court's performance as good or excellent, up 13 points from 28 percent in mid-March. It was is the court's highest rating in 2 1/2 years, results released Monday indicated.

Nineteen percent said they rated the court's work record as poor, which is unchanged from last month, Rasmussen Reports said.

Approval of the nation's highest court had fallen in three consecutive quarterly surveys before the healthcare hearings at the end of March, Rasmussen Reports said.

Among all voters, 28 percent say they think the Supreme Court is too liberal, 29 percent say it's too conservative, and 31 percent say they believe the balance is about right.

Most voters said they want the healthcare law repealed and 54 percent said they expect the Supreme Court will overturn it, Rasmussen Reports said.

Results are based on a nationwide telephone survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted Friday and Saturday. The margin of error is 3 percentage points.

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