TULSA (AP) — Two men treated the mass shootings in Tulsa that killed three black people and wounded two more as a contest, the uncle of one of the men charged testified Wednesday.
Timothy Hoey, the uncle of 19-year-old Jake England and an inmate in the Tulsa County Jail, testified during a preliminary hearing that Alvin Watts told him that he and England were trying to see who could shoot the most people the night of April 6.
Hoey said Watts told him a day after the killings that Watts and England each shot two people, and England shot the fifth victim “that would break the tie,” he said. Hoey also testified that the day after the shootings, England used racial slurs to describe whom they shot.
England, 19, and Watts, 33, face murder and hate crimes charges stemming from the Easter weekend shootings that killed William Allen, Bobby Clark and Dannaer Fields as they were walking near their homes.
The shootings happened in a predominantly black section of the city and all of the victims were black. Watts is white and England identifies himself as Cherokee Indian. Authorities believe England may have targeted black people because he wanted to avenge his father's shooting death by a black man two years ago.
Hoey took the witness stand before Tulsa County Special Judge David Youll. He told prosecutors that he is in jail on several charges, including false impersonation, in several states.
When cross-examined by England's defense attorney, Rob Nigh, Hoey admitted he was going to do whatever it took to help his cause and that he was told it would be in his best interest to testify on Wednesday.
England's other defense attorney, Clark Brewster, tried to portray his client as being friendly with black people, living on the predominantly black north side. Brewster also suggested his client might have been taking medication for depression.