National News

Oklahoma man found guilty of hate crime in his neighbor's death

Posted February 5, 2018 3:04 a.m. EST
Updated February 7, 2018 5:13 p.m. EST

— Stanley Vernon Majors, the Oklahoma man who harassed and attacked members of the Lebanese family living next door, was found guilty Wednesday on three counts, including first-degree murder in connection with the slaying of Khalid Jabara in 2016.

Majors, 63, was also found guilty of malicious intimidation or harassment, a hate crime, and threatening an act of violence, both misdemeanors.

The fourth count he is charged with -- possession of a firearm after commission of a felony -- will need more jury deliberation.

Authorities have said that in August 2016, Majors walked next door, up the front steps of his neighbor's porch, and shot and killed Jabara. They say he did it because the Jabara family is from Lebanon.

During the trial, Majors' team built an insanity defense. His attorneys said this is not a case about hate, race or religion, but about a man so mentally ill he viewed the family next door as a threat. Majors feared the Jabaras, whom he thought were Muslims, would harm him because he is gay.

Psychiatrist Jason Beaman testified for the defense on Monday that Majors has schizophrenia.

"Majors was not able to understand the consequences of his actions" at the time of the shooting, he said.

During closing arguments, prosecutors told the jury that Majors was not ill, just hateful.

Suspect also accused of running over victim's mother

In September 2015, Majors allegedly ran down Jabara's mother, Haifa Jabara, with his car. She suffered a brain hemorrhage, broken ribs, a broken ankle, a damaged shoulder and a broken bone in her arm.

Majors was charged in connection with the hit and run and was jailed as he awaited trial. He was eventually released on bail.

Two months later, before the hit and run case could go to trial, Haifa Jabara heard on the phone the sound of her son being killed.

Jabara's parents testified on the second day of Major's murder trial.

Haifa Jabara recalled how her son had a good relationship with Stephen Schmauss, who lived next door, until Majors moved in with Schmauss.

Haifa Jabara said Majors, who later married Schmauss, was hateful and prejudiced against their Lebanese ethnicity. She said he once threatened to "kill us all."

Jabara told the court her son called her the day of the shooting to tell her not to come home because Majors had a gun.

Majors only spoke once during the trial, to tell the judge he wouldn't testify.


The Jabara family previously told CNN that Majors would stand on the property line between their homes and shout, "Dirty Arabs!"

He called the family "Mooslems" and "dirty Lebanese," the Jabaras said -- even though they're Christians who fled civil war and religious persecution in Lebanon decades ago.