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Tulsa Residents Plan Jail Bond Protest In Shooting Spree Case

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Lopez started a petition called "Not To Fond of a Bond" because he says other black suspects recently arrested in Tulsa for first degree murder are being held without bond. Lopez started a petition called "Not To Fond of a Bond" because he says other black suspects recently arrested in Tulsa for first degree murder are being held without bond.
Randall Lopez says the two men should be held without bond and nothing less. Randall Lopez says the two men should be held without bond and nothing less.
Harris says the state could always argue later for no bond. Harris says the state could always argue later for no bond.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Wednesday, a group of black residents plans to protest outside the Tulsa County Courthouse. They are upset that the two white men accused of shooting five black people could post bond - and get out of jail.

Jake England and Alvin Watts are in the Tulsa County jail on $9-million bond each. That's not good enough for some community members.

Randall Lopez says the two men should be held without bond and nothing less.

"The community is outraged that the bond would even be set," Lopez said. "That's just such a crime."

Lopez says his mom lives less than a mile away from the area in North Tulsa where five black people were shot on Friday. Three people died.

Jake England and Alvin Watts were each arrested on 3 complaints of first degree murder and are currently being held on $9 million bond.

04/09/2012 Related Story: Police: Two Suspects Confessed In Tulsa Shootings

Lopez started a petition called "Not To (sic) Fond of a Bond" because he says other black suspects recently arrested in Tulsa for first degree murder are being held without bond.

"It's really based off equality of criminal punishment," Lopez said. "Everyone should be treated the same and everyone should be charged the same."

But Tulsa County District Judge James Caputo says bonds are not punishments and the amounts are chosen to ensure a defendant shows up to court.

Judges weigh factors like whether the defendant is a flight risk, a risk to the community and the severity of the charge.

Looking at murder suspects in the Tulsa County Jail, 13 black males and 2 white males have no bond. For those murder suspects with bonds, 21 are black males and 10 are white males.

The bonds for those murder complaints range from $300,000 to $5 million. Two black men accused of gunning down a white ORU student and her white boyfriend are each being held on a $1 million bond.

Judge Caputo says race is not a factor. District Attorney Tim Harris is pleased with the bonds for England and Watts.

"These people are not going to get out of jail and it will give us sufficient time to look at the evidence and make a formal charging decision at the appropriate time," Harris said.

Harris says the state could always argue later for no bond.

The protest is planned for Wednesday on the plaza in front of the courthouse in downtown Tulsa.

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