Jury convicts ex-Oklahoma reserve deputy in suspect’s death

Ponca City Now - April 28, 2016 8:46 am

TULSA, Okla. (AP) – A former Oklahoma volunteer sheriff’s deputy who says he confused his handgun and stun gun when he fatally shot an unarmed suspect has been convicted of second-degree manslaughter.

Jurors handed down the verdict Wednesday in the case of 74-year-old Robert Bates. The wealthy insurance executive fatally shot Eric Harris while working with Tulsa County sheriff’s deputies last year during an illegal gun sales sting. Harris was restrained and unarmed at the time.

Bates’ attorneys argued that Harris’ drug use and poor heart health caused his death.

Bates faces up to four years in prison.

After the shooting, an internal 2009 memo surfaced that questioned Bates’ qualifications. Bates also was a close friend of then-Sheriff Stanley Glanz and had donated thousands of dollars in cash, vehicles and equipment to the sheriff’s office.

 

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