Tulsa's BB gun suspect heads to court

Monday, April 28th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The man suspected of shooting out Tulsa business windows with a BB gun went to court Monday to see if he's competent to stand trial. The judge, a psychologist, the prosecutor and even Larry Watts' own attorney agreed he was "not" competent, but Watts strongly disagreed. News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright was in court and has the story.

Larry Watts was upset even before the court hearing began. He disagreed with a psychological evaluation that says he's not competent. But, those who know him say Watts has long believed he's under surveillance, that people out to get him and he routinely records all telephone calls. That's why the experts don't believe he's capable of helping with his defense. Joe Pickard, Tulsa County Assistant DA: "That everyone would be out to get him. So, if he believes that, he's obviously not going to be able to understand what's going on."

Watts was arrested a few months ago after the owners of Snow's Furniture staked out their own store for eight nights because someone had shot out their windows over and over again. When it happened right in front of them, they gave chase until police got there, who arrested the 55-year-old Watts. Watts is only charged with the one shooting, but someone shot out more than 400 store windows in Tulsa in just a few months and since his arrest, they've stopped.

During the hearing, Watts was fidgeting and arguing with his attorney about the ruling. At one point, he asked the judge if he could talk. The judge said not at this time and Watts was led out in handcuffs. The judge said Watts is a danger to himself and others in his current mental state, so he ordered him into treatment for 60 days and then they'll see how he's doing. Watts’ defense attorney, Wayne Copeland, "He's been suffering from delusions and paranoid schizophrenia for years and he's had no adequate medical help. So, it's good he's going to get the help he needs now."

That process could take anywhere from two days to two years, but until Watts is better, the charges against him, will wait. Watts will be back in court on June 23rd to see if the therapy and medication has helped him.