A man accused of injuring one of his next-door neighbors in Tulsa, Okla., in a hit-and-run last year -- and then fatally shooting her son last week -- had a history of anti-Arab racism against the family and a history of violence in Southern California, according to court records.
Stanley Vernon Majors, 61, a Los Angeles native, now faces a charge of first-degree murder. Khalid Jabara’s family said his killing on the front porch of the family’s Tulsa home “could have been prevented,” given Majors’ criminal record, which includes convictions for violent threats and assault in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.
Friday’s killing came after Majors terrorized his neighbors for “years” with racist and anti-Muslim behavior, according to Jabara’s family, who are Orthodox Christian immigrants from Lebanon. The Jabara family had secured a restraining order against Majors in 2013 barring further contact, which Majors had broken twice in 2015, according to court records.
“He repeatedly attacked our ethnicity and perceived religion, making racist comments. He often called us ‘dirty Arabs,’ ‘filthy Lebanese,’ ‘Aye-rabs,’ and ‘Mooslems,’ ” the family said in a statement posted on Facebook, adding: “This man was a known danger.”
An attorney for Majors couldn’t be reached for comment.
The Jabaras emigrated from Lebanon during that country’s civil war in the early 1980s, a family friend, Rebecca Abou-Chedid, who is acting as a spokeswoman for the family, told the Los Angeles Times.
The family settled in Tulsa, and according to Abou-Chedid, Majors moved in next door around 2011 — apparently while he was still on parole for felony weapons charges in California, where authorities had issued a warrant for his arrest in 2012 for violating the terms of his supervision.
One of Majors’ California convictions includes a 2009 felony case for making threats in Los Angeles County, where he was also under a restraining order from another man.
Courts records indicate that Majors was extradited to California in 2013, but he returned to Oklahoma and got married to another man there in 2014.
In March 2015, a drunken Majors cursed Jabara’s mother, Haifa Jabara, with racial slurs in the family’s driveway and told her, “I want to kill you,” despite the 2013 court order barring contact with the family, according to an arrest report.
A few months later, in September 2015—while facing a bench warrant for failure to appear in court for violating the protective order—Majors was accused of hitting Haifa Jabara with his car and then speeding away, according to court records.
The family said she suffered a broken shoulder, collapsed lung, broken ankle, broken nose, head trauma, and fractured ribs. Court records said that when an officer found Majors, he was apparently drunk.
Majors was arrested and held without bond jail for several months. Then, in May, Majors requested that bond for the most serious of his charges related to the hit-and-run incident be set for $30,000.
Tulsa County prosecutors objected, saying Majors “had demonstrated a wanton disregard for the life of the victim and the safety of the public” and requested bond be set at $300,000.
After a hearing, a judge set Majors’ bond at $60,000, which Majors posted on May 25. He was free. Court records indicate he was ordered to wear an ankle monitor, but his neighbors—the Jabaras—were disturbed.
“He was released and put back next door to us, the family he assaulted just months before," the family said in a statement. “This is troubling at any time, but profoundly disturbing given the current climate of our country and the increase nationally in cases of hate crimes.”
The family’s statement said that before the shooting on Friday, “Khalid called the police stating this man had a gun and that he was scared for what might happen.”
Tulsa Police Homicide Sgt. Dave Walker told the Tulsa World that Jabara, 37, had called to report “suspicious activity” and that police had come and gone before Jabara was shot. (Walker couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.)
Police soon arrested Majors as the suspect. He is now being held in the Tulsa County Jail without bond.
Describing Jabara as a “kind spirit,” the family said in its statement, “He created every Jabara family joke and filled our lives with love and laughter. All of that has been taken away from us by this hateful man and a system that failed to protect our community.”
Officials told the Tulsa World that they were still evaluating whether to charge Majors with a hate crime.
An online fundraiser set up for Jabara’s family and supported by interfaith groups has raised more than $7,000 in one day as of Tuesday evening.
“For me, as an Arab American, this is what America is,” Abou-Chedid told The Times about the outpouring of support from around the country. “People aren’t all just looking at him as an Arab American and not caring that this happened. … The outpouring has been really great.”
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