Stanley Majors, a White man facing murder and hate crime charges for fatally shooting Khalid Jabara in Tulsa on August 12, just pleaded not guilty to those charges.
The Associated Press reported that Majors entered the plea today (August 24), with a judge appointing a public defender and setting preliminary hearings for October 5. Authorities charged Majors with threatening violence and possession of a weapon as a felon in addition to the aforementioned murder and hate crime charges.
As The Associated Press/New York Daily News reported yesterday, Oklahoma law classifies the hate crime charge as a misdemeanor. In court papers filed yesterday, prosecutors accused him of intimidating Khalid and his mother, Haifa Jabara.
The family’s spokeswoman, Rebecca Abou-Chedid, emailed Colorlines a statement from the Jabara family yesterday (August 23) commending the charges:
Our parents raised us to be patriotic Americans, proud of our Lebanese heritage and our community’s contributions to our country. In charging Majors with a hate crime in addition to first degree murder, the district attorney’s office is making a much-needed and powerful statement that hatred and violence based on race, color, religion, ancestry and national origin has no place in our society. It is an appropriate moment in our local and national conversation for a reassertion of the foundational and quintessentially American values of equality and tolerance.
Khalid Jabara’s sister-in-law Jenna told Colorlines in an interview last Thursday (August 18) that various legal avenues taken to stop Majors’ racist intimidation ultimately didn’t stop him from fatally shooting Jabara:
Haifa Jabara had a protective order issued against Majors in 2013. She was run over by Majors’ car on September 12, 2015. Majors was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous (later amended to deadly) weapon, leaving the scene of a collision involving injury, violation of a protective order and public intoxication. Despite our objections and the obvious threat Majors posed to his neighbors, [one] judge placed bond at only $60,000 and [another]* removed the ankle monitor requirement while he was awaiting trial for attacking Haifa. Majors posted bond and was released from police custody on May 23, 2016 with no conditions on his release.
A family statement posted to Facebook by Khalid’s sister Victoria after his death said that Majors killed Khalid while awaiting trial for attacking Haifa. It also said that Majors routinely hurled epithets like "dirty Lebanese" and "Mooslems" (the Jabaras are Christian) at the family.
Majors’ husband Stephen Schmauss, who said he befriended Khalid, told the Associated Press that Majors is "textbook bipolar" and that his harassment was "done under the bipolar situation."