Suspects confess to Good Friday shootings in Tulsa; bail set at $9.16 million
BY ZACK STOYCOFF, JARREL WADE & AMANDA BLAND World Staff Writers
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
12/28/12 at 9:00 AM
The two men who were arrested after a 17-hour manhunt this weekend confessed to a series of early Friday shootings, three of which were fatal, documents show.
Jake England, 19, and Alvin Watts, now 33, were arrested early Sunday after they surrendered to police on a Turley street less than a mile from their house.
The men were then taken to the Tulsa Police Department's Detective Division, where England and Watts told police they each committed two of the shootings, according to arrest reports.
The search began when authorities received their first credible tip about 8 a.m. Saturday, Officer Jason Willingham said.
At one point, the suspects likely escaped from their house in the 2800 block of East 61st Street North as authorities began surrounding it, Willingham said.
England and Watts, whose birthday was Monday, made their initial court appearance Monday morning.
A judge set each man's bail at $9.16 million on three complaints of first-degree murder, two complaints of shooting with an intent to kill and one complaint of possessing a firearm while in the commission of a felony. Their arraignment was postponed until 9 a.m. April 16, giving prosecutors time to review the complaints and file charges.
England and Watts are accused of fatally shooting Dannaer Fields, 49, Bobby Clark, 54, and William Allen, 31, and wounding David Hall, 46, and Deon Tucker, 44, in four separate shootings within a 3-square-mile area of north Tulsa - all likely between 1 and 2 a.m. Friday, Willingham said.
Watts told police "that of the four shootings, he shot the ones in between the first and last subjects," according to his arrest report.
The report goes on to say that the victims Watts said he shot were two of the three who died.
England said he shot three people and that he drove as Watts shot the other two. He also told detectives the location of the gun used, according to his arrest report.
Police first tied England to the shootings when someone called the Crime Commission's anonymous Crime Stoppers tip line about 8 a.m. Saturday to report that he was the shooter, Willingham said.
Over the course of the day, police received dozens of tips about the shootings and a handful that implicated England, including one that said England owned a white pickup and intended to burn it.
Hall and Tucker, who were wounded in the shootings but survived, had told police that a white man in a white pickup approached them and asked for directions before shooting them and driving away, Willingham said.
Meanwhile, authorities followed other leads and searched areas across the city as they investigated a steady stream of tips, not all of which were credible, police said.
"It was all rapidly developing," Willingham said. "You've got guys going in all different directions.
"At some point, you've got to decide when it's time to pull everyone in and focus" the investigation.
That point came when Osage County deputies found a burned white pickup that was registered to Jake England and Carl England at 6000 N. Osage Drive about 6 p.m. Saturday.
Carl England, Jake England's father, was fatally shot on April 5, 2010.
Authorities began watching England's house about an hour later and obtained a search warrant before surrounding the building in the waning hours of Saturday night.
"As we were scrambling to get the place surrounded, that's when we think they left the residence," Willingham said.
Assisted by a police helicopter, authorities searched the area and eventually found England and Watts in a mobile home park about a quarter-mile northwest of their house, according to police and reports.
The men had gone into a residence in the mobile home park but were on the street when they surrendered and were taken into custody without incident, Willingham said.
Arrest reports list the location of their arrest as 6210 N. Yorktown Ave.
The men were questioned and then booked into the Tulsa Jail within four hours.
At an arraignment Monday, they appeared in the courtroom on closed-circuit television from the Tulsa Jail.
Both men were wearing orange jumpsuits and were handcuffed in the front when they were escorted by jail staff to a podium in front of a camera.
Tulsa County Sheriff's Sgt. Shannon Clark said video conferencing from the jail is common for inmates who need to appear for an initial arraignment.
He said there have been no reports of problems with the two men since they were jailed in isolation Sunday.
The judge, who also had a camera at his bench to communicate with England and Watts, told the men on what complaints they were being held, their bail amounts and when their arraignment would continue.
Neither suspect spoke.
Bail for both men was set at $3 million for each of three murder complaints, $75,000 for each of two complaints of shooting with intent to kill and $10,000 for the firearm complaint - a total of $9.16 million for each man.
It was not clear when charges would be filed.
Tulsa County District Attorney Tim Harris said that "the investigation hasn't even come in any format that we can review," but he said the case "is the highest priority of any case in the Tulsa County District Attorney's Office."
Willingham said police had no evidence Monday that others were involved in the shootings but that they were looking into that possibility.
Check back at tulsaworld.com for more updates. Find complete coverage at tulsaworld.com/shootings.
Original Print Headline: Suspects confess to shootings
Zack Stoycoff 918-581-8486
Jarrel Wade 918-581-8367
Amanda Bland 918-581-8413
England (left) and Watts
Tulsa County District Attorney Tim Harris reads a list of bail amounts after the initial court appearance of Jake England and Alvin Watts on Monday. The two men are accused of shooting five people Friday. MATT BARNARD / Tulsa World