The family of a Tulsa murder victim said the man accused of the killing had harassed, threatened and attacked the victim, and his mother, for years.
They said they’re frustrated and feel someone dropped the ball after they’d tried everything to get help.
Khalid Jabara’s family said Vernon Majors had attacked their mother, violated a protective order she had against him, and that Jabara had called police 90 minutes before he was killed.
Police say Majors had a long-standing feud with his neighbor; the family says every time Majors was arrested he would get out on bond and do something new.
Jabara's mother got a protective order against Majors in 2013, then, Majors got one against her son two years later. A few months later, Jabara's mother said Majors threatened to kill her, so police arrested him for violating the protective order.
Six months after that, police say Majors hit her with his car, breaking her shoulder, and he was arrested.
Majors’ attorney wanted bond, but the district attorney said Majors was too dangerous; the judge gave bond but doubled the amount.
Lori: "So how frustrating is that process when you say he doesn't deserve bond and yet he gets it?”
Tulsa County DA Steve Kunzweiler: "You can't lock up everybody, and you can't let everybody out, so there's got to be this balance."
Police say Majors shot and killed Jabara Friday night. Records show he called police around 5:00 p.m., saying someone was knocking on his windows.
Officers got there around 6:30 p.m., said there was nothing they could do, and left at 6:40. Jabara was killed eight minutes later.
Lori: "Do you feel police dropped the ball in any way in this case?
Sergeant Dave Walker: "Knowing what happened would be do something different, certainly. We feel for the family."
The constitution says everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty. It also says everyone is allowed bond, except some arrested for murder.
None of that, however, is any comfort to Jabara's family, who spent years dealing with Majors, and most of Monday making funeral arrangements.
Majors' attorney, Marvin Lizama, said "The death of Khalid Jabara is a tragedy, and that's the last thing you want to hear." He said it's a tough situation and his thoughts and prayers are with the family.
The Jabara family released a statement on Facebook saying:
"On Friday night, our world was shattered when our brother, Khalid Jabara, was murdered on the front porch of our family home. The perpetrator was not unknown to us—he is our neighbor—someone whom we continuously brought to law enforcement’s attention. He killed our brother while awaiting trial for running over our mother, resulting in a broken shoulder, collapsed lung, broken ankle, broken nose, head trauma, and fractured ribs amongst other injuries. Only 30 minutes prior to my brother’s shooting, Khalid called the police stating this man had a gun and that he was scared for what might happen. The police came and told him there was nothing to be done. Minutes later, the suspect murdered our brother with four shots.
"My family lived in fear of this man and his hatred for years. Yet in May, not even one year after he ran over our mother and despite our repeated protests, he was released from jail with no conditions on his bond—no ankle monitor, no drug/alcohol testing, nothing.
"This suspect had a history of bigotry against our family. He repeatedly attacked our ethnicity and perceived religion, making racist comments. He often called us “dirty Arabs,” “filthy Lebanese,” “Aye-rabs,” and “Mooslems”—a fact highlighted by the Tulsa Police Department who also heard these comments from the suspect. The suspect’s bigotry was not isolated to us alone. He made xenophobic comments about many in our community -- “filthy Mexican” and the “n” word were all part of his hateful approach to anyone from a different background.
"Today, in our pain, we are also keenly aware that this is not just another murder to be added to crime statistics. Our brother’s death could have been prevented. This man was a known danger. He intentionally tried to kill our mother less than one year ago when he ran her over with his car. Based on his racist comments towards us, he should have been charged with a hate crime then. He should not have been released without monitoring. Yet he was released and put back next door to us, the family he assaulted just months before. This is troubling at any time, but profoundly disturbing given the current climate of our country and the increase nationally in cases of hate crimes.
"Our brother Khalid was just 37 years old and had his whole life ahead of him. He was a kind spirit, loving brother, uncle and son. Khalid’s heart was big. He cared for our entire family, our friends and people he didn’t even know. He created every Jabara family joke and filled our lives with love and laughter. All of that has been taken away from us by this hateful man and a system that failed to protect our community."
Our partner, The Frontier, has more on this story here.
Time Line For Vernon Majors Case: