A Tulsa man who was serving life without parole for fatally shooting his neighbor, Khalid Jabara, in a hate crime in 2016 has died in prison.
Stanley Vernon Majors, 63, was convicted in February and sentenced the following month for first-degree murder, as well as misdemeanor counts of malicious intimidation and harassment — hate crimes — and threatening an act of violence.
His death was one of two unrelated deaths of inmates Wednesday at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. The state Department of Corrections opened investigations into the deaths.
Matt Elliott, an Oklahoma Department of Corrections spokesman, said Majors died in a prison infirmary.
Majors was found dead after midnight early Wednesday in an infirmary bed at the maximum-security prison. Elliott declined to say what preceded Majors’ move to the infirmary.
The Jabara family, in a statement, said they were aware of Majors’ death and “are working through the emotions that come with that.”
Majors’ death came one month after the second anniversary of Khalid Jabara’s death.
“We continue to work to honor Khalid’s memory, advocating for bail reform, victims’ rights and combating hate,” the Jabara family said in a collective statement. “This news does nothing to change that focus.”
Since Jabara’s murder, his family has been advocating for legal reforms that they argue could have helped protect them. The first is to overhaul the courts’ bond review practices. Second, they think courts should be required to notify victims upon an inmate’s release, having learned that Majors was out on bond before he killed Kahlid Jabara only through their own vigilant checks of the courts’ online public records system.
Khalid Jabara had called the police twice on the afternoon of the shooting, Aug. 12, 2016, after receiving information from Majors’ late husband that Majors had been shooting a gun inside their residence, which was next door to the Jabara family’s house. Officers attempted to make contact with Majors, but he didn’t answer the door, so they left. Less than 10 minutes after that call, Majors shot and killed Khalid Jabara.
Majors had a long criminal history that included harassment, threats and violence against the Jabara family.
He had been accused of subjecting the Jabaras to years of threats and ethnic slurs, assuming that the Lebanese, Orthodox Christian family were Muslims. At the time of the shooting, he was out on bond on felony charges accusing him of having struck Khalid Jabara’s mother, Haifa Jabara, with his car and left her for dead on a neighborhood street.
A Tulsa County jury convicted Majors in February 2018 of killing Khalid Jabara. After his murder conviction, Majors pleaded guilty in the case regarding Haifa Jabara.
During his murder trial, witnesses testified that they heard Majors direct racial slurs such as “filthy Lebanese” and “Ay-rabs” against the Jabaras, whom Majors called “terrorists” who “throw gay people off rooftops.”
The circumstances of Majors’ death in prison remain under investigation. The state Medical Examiner’s Office will conduct an autopsy to determine his cause and manner of death.
DOC officials identified the other inmate who died Wednesday at the prison as Bobby Bailey, 56. Bailey was found dead around 11:30 a.m. in his cell.
Initial information indicates that Bailey, who was serving life for a shooting in Garvin County, was assaulted. His cellmate is the suspect, the DOC reported.