TULSA, Okla. — Testimony began Monday in the trial of an Oklahoma man charged with first-degree murder and a hate crime in the slaying of his Lebanese neighbor.
Stanley Vernon Majors, 63, is accused in the August 2016 killing of 37-year-old Khalid Jabara. In opening statements to Majors’ 12-member jury, prosecutors alleged Majors acted out of jealousy amplified by racist views.
“It’s about jealousy and hate,” Assistant District Attorney Becky Johnson said. Johnson said Majors’ resentment toward Jabara and the rest of his family became amplified by his dislike of people of color.
Prosecutors say Majors fatally shot Jabara after bombarding him and his family for years with racial epithets, including “filthy Lebanese” and “Moo-slems.” The Jabaras are Christian.
Majors’ defense attorney, assistant public defender Travis Smith, told jurors that Majors had untreated schizophrenia. Defense attorneys have indicated they will present a defense based on Majors’ mental health, although Majors was previously found competent to stand trial.
The first witnesses to testify in the case included 911 operators and a neighbor who testified she heard Khalid Jabara being attacked.
Majors’ has pleaded not guilty to the charges. His jury was seated on Friday following a week of jury selection and prosecutors have said his trial could last two weeks.