Bob Bates Manslaughter Appeal Denied
TULSA, Oklahoma - The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has confirmed the judgment and sentencing of former Tulsa Reserve Deputy Bob Bates. Bates was found guilty of second-degree manslaughter in the death of Eric Harris.
Harris died when Bates used his gun instead of a Taser as Harris was being subdued in an undercover sting.
Bates' attorneys appealed his conviction on several points, one stating the definition of "culpable negligence" should be different for police officers. However, the court ruled evidence was sufficient to convict Bates of being negligent in Harris' death.
Defense attorneys also argued that police officers should be judged under a different standard and that the trial court should have given specialized instructions to the jury regarding the definition of culpable negligence.
That proposition was also denied.
"There was no evidence that any reasonable person would have reasonably and objectively believed that person would be justified is using deadly force in the situation that confronted Bates on that day," the summary opinion reads.
"There was no objective need for deadly force at the time Eric Harris was shot."
Bates was released from prison in 2017 after serving about two years of his four-year sentence. His release came as a result of how the Department of Corrections calculates credits earned while in prison.