A jury in Oklahoma this week found 63-year-old Stanley Vernon Majors guilty of first-degree murder, elevated by additional charges making the 2016 shooting a hate crime.
According to CNN, Majors was convicted of a number of counts related to the death of his neighbor, Khalid Jabara.
During the trial, prosecutors presented evidence that the Tulsa man had harassed the Lebanese family living next door, taunting his neighbors by shouting insults like “dirty Arab” and “Mooslems,” despite the fact that they are openly Christian.
Less than a year before the shooting that left Jabara dead, Majors was accused of hitting and seriously injuring his victim’s mother, Haifa Jabara, with his vehicle.
Defense attorneys attempted to argue Majors was not mentally competent to understand his actions, insisting he was the one afraid of his neighbors, whom he believed would target him because of his homosexuality.
A jury determined that he walked up to the family’s front door in August 2016 and fatally shot Khalid Jabara.
Prosecutors argued the crime was motivated by Major’s intolerance toward the immigrant family.
In attaching two misdemeanors to felony charges against him, jurors acknowledged that they agreed the shooting was rooted in hate.
Majors was found guilty of malicious intimidation or harassment and threatening an act of violence, as well as the more serious counts of murder and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
The jury recommended a life sentence for the murder charges and 10 years in prison for firearm possession, along with one-year and six-month sentences, respectively, for the lesser counts.
A judge is expected to sentence him later this month.
[Featured image: Pixabay]