Prosecutor in Good Friday murders says statements to police should be admitted as evidence
BY BILL BRAUN World Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 07, 2012
12/28/12 at 9:05 AM
Statements to police by one of two men who are accused of murdering three people on Good Friday were made voluntarily and should be admitted as evidence, a prosecutor says.
Evidence makes it clear that Jacob Carl England "understood his rights and the consequences of waiving them," says a 15-page document filed by Tulsa County First Assistant District Attorney Doug Drummond.
The filing is a response to assertions by England's attorneys, who are seeking to suppress as evidence statements England made to police.
A preliminary hearing began July 18 and is scheduled to resume Aug. 14 before Special Judge David Youll, who will rule on the admissibility of the evidence.
England, 19, and Alvin Lee Watts, 33, are each charged with three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of shooting with an intent to kill.
They are also charged with five misdemeanor counts of malicious intimidation or harassment - hate crimes.
England and Watts are accused of shooting five black people at four locations in the early hours of April 6.
The defendants are listed in court records as white, although testimony has been presented that England is an American Indian.
The murder counts stem from the deaths of Dannaer Fields, 49, Bobby Clark, 54, and William Allen, 31.
The two shooting counts relate to victims David Hall and Deon Tucker, who survived their injuries.
Watts, when interviewed by police, "initially minimized his role in the five shootings but subsequently detailed how he and England committed the crimes," according to Drummond.
Watts admitted to police that he killed Fields and Clark, and he told police that England killed Allen and wounded Hall and Tucker, the prosecutor's filing says.
When England was questioned by police, he indicated that he shot two men on a porch and at one point admitted that he shot a man on 36th Street North, Drummond's document states.
According to police, Hall and Tucker had been on a porch, and Allen's body was found in the 800 block of East 36th Street North.
A motion filed by Rob Nigh, one of England's attorneys, says that although detectives read England the "Miranda" warnings - which concern the right to remain silent and other rights - detectives later made assurances to England that "undermined those warnings."
Clark Brewster, also representing England, said Tulsa Police Detective Vic Regalado, in assuring England that a recorded conversation was confidential, contradicted a previous warning that anything England said "can and will be used against you in a court of law."
England's April 8 statements to police in an interrogation room should be suppressed and inadmissible as evidence, his lawyers contend.
A page of a transcript of the April 8 interview says Regalado told England that "what we say in here is between us, okay."
In his written response, Drummond says "a plain reading" indicates that Regalado was promising not to tell Watts everything said by England.
That is "far from a promise of confidentiality that directly contradicts Miranda,'' according to Drummond.
Public defenders representing Watts contend that Watts' arrest was illegal and that any evidence and statements arising out of the arrest should be suppressed. That motion has not been resolved.
Check back at tulsaworld.com for more updates. Find complete coverage at tulsaworld.com/shootings.
Original Print Headline: Suspect's statements voluntary
Bill Braun 918-581-8455
Jacob Carl England (left) and Alvin Lee Watts: They are accused of shooting five black people at four locations in the early hours of April 6. Three died, and two survived their injuries.