Witnesses: Accused Tulsa Good Friday Shooters Confessed Killings
TULSA, Oklahoma - A preliminary hearing began Wednesday for the two men accused in the deadly shooting spree over Good Friday weekend.
Jake England, 19, and Alvin Watts, 33, face murder and hate-crimes charges for allegedly gunning down random, black victims in north Tulsa.
Prosecutors introduced key witnesses, one of whom is the mother of England's late fiancée. Cindy Wilde told the court she sold a gun to England, and a few days later, he confessed the deadly shooting spree to her.
Wilde said she talked to England following the shootings, and she asked if he would ever do something like that.
England replied to her, "Yeah, I might have done that," Wilde testified.
Wilde said England told her he went to a casino that morning and shot some people on the way there and on the way back.
Wilde said she begged England to turn himself in.
On cross-examination, Wilde admitted to England's defense attorney that she has memory loss due to taking the medication Xanax, which she said she took the morning England confessed the murders to her.
Tulsa County jail inmate Timothy Hoey, who is England's uncle, also testified. Hoey said Watts told him the shootings were part of "a contest" he was having with England.
Investigators have said England's motivation may have been revenge for his father's death. His father was shot by a black man in 2010.
The April shootings stunned the Tulsa community, garnered national attention and caused city leaders to form a task force to catch the killers. England and Watts were arrested less than 48 hours later.
"It saddens me, as a person, to think that sometimes the minds that reduce the lives of people down to where it's a contest and killing people," Tulsa NAACCP president Warren Blakney said. "That's a reflection on them and those folks who are around them."
The brother of Dannaer Fields, a woman who was found shot in her front yard in the killings, was in the courtroom Wednesday.
"It doesn't seem like they had a plan at all," Fields said.
Fields said it's hard for him to understand what motivated England and Watts, but that he's looking forward to the trial playing itself out.
"Whatever they do is alright with me," he said. "If they lock them up that's good. If they give them the death penalty — I ain't for the death penalty — but if that's what they want to do, that's what they going to do."
Wilde has also accused England of murdering her daughter, to whom he was engaged to be married. She told News On 6 in May that her young grandson revealed to a therapist he watched England shoot his mother.
"I loved the guy, just like my daughter did," Cindy Wilde said. "[England is] nice, loving, caring, I thought. He played me just like he played her."