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UPDATED: Wednesday, May 4, 12 PM EST

Robert Bates, the former Oklahoma volunteer sheriff’s deputy convicted of second-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of an unarmed Black man, was denied bail as he awaits sentencing in a Tulsa jail, according to Tulsa World.

The 74-year-old wealthy businessman was convicted last week on charges of shooting Eric Harris while working with Tulsa County sheriff’s deputies during an illegal gun sales sting. He allegedly mistook his gun for a Taser, fatally shooting Harris last year.

Via Tulsa World:

The judge ruled that the former Tulsa County reserve sheriff’s deputy does not have the right to post bond due to an Oklahoma law denying bail on appeal to offenders whose convictions involve a firearm.

But even if statutes did permit District Judge William Musseman to decide whether to set bail, he said the testimony from Bates — who took the stand for the first time Tuesday to describe how his almost six-day jail stay has affected his health — offered insufficient reason to grant the 74-year-old that right.


Bates, wearing a jail uniform, testified Tuesday in front of approximately 45 people there in his support and about 20 others, including Harris supporters, community activists and journalists.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on May 31 after jurors recommended the maximum punishment of four years in prison, notes the report.

SOURCE: Tulsa World 

An Oklahoma jury convicted a former Oklahoma volunteer sheriff’s deputy of second-degree manslaughter Wednesday on charges that he fatally shot an unarmed man last year after mistaking his gun for a Taser, reports The Associated Press.

Robert Bates, 74, a wealthy insurance executive, was accused of fatally shooting Eric Harris while working with Tulsa County sheriff’s deputies during an illegal gun sales sting, the report says.

Harris, who tried to run from deputies, was restrained when he was shot, writes The AP:

The shooting — which was caught on video — sparked several investigations that, among other things, revealed an internal 2009 memo questioning Bates’ qualifications as a volunteer deputy and showed that Bates, a close friend of the sheriff’s, had donated thousands of dollars in cash, vehicles and equipment to the agency.


Weeks after Harris was killed, an internal sheriff’s office memo from 2009 was released by an attorney for Harris’ family that alleged superiors knew Bates didn’t have enough training but pressured others to look the other way because of his relationship with the sheriff and the agency.

Longtime sheriff, Stanley Glanz, resigned in November after he was indicted on charges of failing to release the 2009 memo, the report says.

Bates received the maximum sentence of four years. After the verdict, he was handcuffed and taken into custody pending formal sentencing at a later date, writes The AP.



Tulsa Reserve Deputy Who Fired Gun Instead Of Taser Was Probed Over Conduct In 2009