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Hate crimes filed in Tulsa shootings

  |   April 13, 2012 at 11:36 PM
TULSA, Okla., April 13 (UPI) -- Two suspects in the Tulsa, Okla., shooting spree were charged with hate crimes Friday in addition to murder and shooting with intent to kill, prosecutors said.

The Tulsa County District Attorney's Office charged Jake England, 19, and Alvin Watts, 31, with three counts of first-degree murder, two counts of shooting with intent to kill and five counts of malicious harassment. Tulsa's KOKI-TV said the prosecutor's office said the harassment counts are the equivalent of hate crimes according to the D.A.'s office.

England and Watts are charged in the Good Friday deaths of Bobby Clark, Dannaer Fields and William Allen, and the wounding of Deon Tucker and David Hall were also shot. All of the victims are black.

"Filing charges is the first step to obtain justice for the victims and their families," assistant prosecutor Doug Drummond said. "This is a tragic and senseless crime. Our office is committed to holding those responsible accountable for their actions."

The pair face the possibility of being put to death if convicted of murder.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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