One of two men charged with the killing of a man at a homeless encampment in north Tulsa last year has been found guilty of first-degree murder.
Jason Enrique Arce, 39, was sentenced last week to life in prison with the possibility of parole in the fatal shooting of Mark Clifford Lake — a man described by friends as a “good-hearted guy“ — in a field near Sheridan Road and Interstate 244 in August 2020.
Arce’s co-defendant, Andres James Martinez, faces the same charge and is scheduled for trial in December.
Prosecutors allege that the two attacked Lake as he and his wife were riding into the encampment on bicycles the night of Aug. 29, 2020.
Lake’s wife reportedly told police detectives that the two had had “dealings with” Martinez, or AJ, in the weeks leading up to the shooting, and she identified him and Arce as the two who pointed guns at them after knocking her husband off his bike.
A witness told police the two had just earlier come to Lake and his wife’s tent, looking for them.
Lake’s wife said she heard multiple gunshots but wasn’t struck and began to chase the men as they ran away before realizing her husband wasn’t beside her.
Lake died at the scene as crowds of people gathered to check on loved ones they knew to frequent the area.
Arce was apprehended less than a mile away, wearing the same clothing as one of the two men seen fleeing the field on surveillance video from nearby businesses, according to his arrest and booking report.
Arce was already a convicted felon in at least three states: Oklahoma, California and Texas. He now carries the following convictions from this case: first-degree murder, feloniously pointing a firearm and possession of a firearm after a felony conviction.
The jury, after deliberating for about eight hours on Oct. 7, acquitted Arce of an additional count of feloniously pointing a firearm. They jury recommended that he serve life with parole for the murder count, five years for his other count of feloniously pointing a firearm and two years for possessing a firearm as a felon.
Tulsa County District Judge Michelle Keely accepted the jury’s sentencing recommendation and ordered that the five years run consecutively to the life sentence and that the two years run concurrently with the five.
Martinez is charged with first-degree murder and two counts of feloniously pointing a firearm. He is scheduled for a discovery hearing Nov. 2.