New Homicide Sergeant Credits Team For Solving 5 Murders In His First Week On The Job

Wednesday, September 5th 2018, 6:52 pm
By: News On 6

The homicide unit at the Tulsa Police Department has had their hands busy after two people were shot and killed.

Tulsa police arrested Marisha Taylor in connection with the shooting death of Jeremy Stanford. Investigators said Stanford's body was found at a Budget Inn in Tulsa Tuesday, September 4, 2018.

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Police said Taylor drove the victim's car into Keystone Lake shortly after the death and told investigators Stanford committed suicide.

Tulsa Police also said two security guards shot and killed a man at an apartment near 61st and Peoria. Police say Ronald Mason was banned from the complex and when guards confronted him he opened fire. Investigators said guards fired back, killing Mason.

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Tulsa has had five homicides in the past week, and it just happened to be the first week on the job for Tulsa's new homicide sergeant, Brandon Watkins.

Watkins previously ran the burglary unit then the robbery unit, so he’s used to long hours and catching bad guys, but, he said what's new is the responsibility he now feels for the victims' families.

Watkins has been on the department 21 years and said he's ready for the new challenge of heading up Tulsa's homicide unit, even though he wasn't expecting five murders in his first week.

"Everybody keeps telling me this is a trial by fire, but it's more like a gauntlet. I'm getting beat by a cudgel every time I think I'm just about done," he said.

Watkins said all five murders have been solved, which he’s proud of, and gives credit to the team of detectives in the unit.

"I'm gonna retire tomorrow so I can keep it at 100 percent," Watkins said jokingly.

The sergeant said he hopes to continue the legacy of success in the unit of those who have gone before him - Sergeant Dave Walker and Sergeant Mike Huff.

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"There have been two people who've had this job in the 21 years I've been on the department. It's not something that opens up very often, so to have the opportunity to do it is phenomenal,” Watkins said.

Watkins said he's ready for something new and he likes the puzzle cases provide as they work to undercover clues and find the truth.

He said while the job may come with a lot of pressure and expectations, to him, what matters most is getting justice for those murdered and their families.

"It comes down to you want to do right by the families, and that's the thing that kinda scares me," he said.