TULSA (AP) — An Oklahoma judge delayed preliminary hearings Friday for two men accused of shooting five people at a Hmong New Year’s festival in Tulsa because of problems finding a local interpreter who doesn’t know the victims or defendants.
Boonmlee Lee, 21, and Meng Lee, 19, each have pleaded not guilty to one count of shooting with intent to kill and five counts of assault and battery with a deadly weapon.
Judge Stephen Clark rescheduled the hearings until Jan. 16 over the objections of defense attorneys, who told the judge in court Friday that their clients have been jailed since October and want to go ahead with the hearings.
Assistant District Attorney Sean Hill told Clark that the state will have a local interpreter by January. After leaving court, Hill told reporters that two translators had to be ruled out by prosecutors because they know the victims or defendants.