The 22-year-old is charged with the $1.5 million bond murder of a black Tulsa woman in a parking lot and faces life in prison

A young Oklahoma man is jailed on seven-figure bail in the county jail after being charged with fatally shooting a black woman in a fit of road rage.

On Wednesday, September 7, Julian Zavaleta, then a 21-year-old, was charged with first-degree murder and using a vehicle in the delivery of a gun in Friday’s shooting of 25-year-old Shantel Jones. Aug. 19 while parked in a Tulsa auto zone, according to Tulsaworld.

Julian Zavaleta (Screenshot Tulsa World)

At around 2:20 p.m., witnesses said they saw her get out of her vehicle just before Zavaleta approached her in his gray car, shot her from his car and punched her in the abdomen.

Jones was taken to a hospital where she died from her injuries.

The deceased was a Bronx transplant who moved to Tulsa with a friend with hopes of relocating to Georgia by the end of the year. Family members remember her as loved and kept “pretty… to herself.”

Her older sister Shantel Smith, who went by the same name according to KJRH, said she’s often seen as the life of the party, saying, “Her energy was just so unmatched.”

Indictment documents say the 22-year-old fled the scene after shooting the woman but contacted police half an hour later to confess what he had done.

Tulsa Police Homicide Sgt. Brandon Watkins alleges Jones may have been a victim of road rage after she cut off Zavaleta as she entered the auto parts store parking lot.

“When people have guns ready and available, they tend to do stupid things with them, and one young woman died,” Watkins said.

The man was arrested by officers from the Tulsa Police Department at 71st Street and Trenton Ave. where he was surrounded by his family members at the family’s “food shop” south of the crime scene. There he was arrested; His gun was confiscated by police and his car was towed away.

Officials later booked him into the Tulsa County Jail, where he remains in lieu of $1.5 million bail.

Prosecutors charged him with the two counts on Wednesday, August 24, five days after the shooting and the day of his 22nd birthday.

First-degree murder in Oklahoma carries a hefty penalty that is among the harshest in the nation. If convicted, Zavaleta faces life imprisonment” (45 years in Oklahoma, with the right to parole after serving 85 percent of the sentence), life imprisonment without possibility of parole, or death (referred to as capital murder). ‘ said Attorney Matt Swain, a criminal defense attorney in the state.

Zavaleta’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, September 28th. The 22-year-old is charged with the $1.5 million bond murder of a black Tulsa woman in a parking lot and faces life in prison

James Brien

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