More Deputies Testify For Prosecutors In Day 3 Of Bob Bates Manslaughter Trial

Friday, April 22nd 2016, 2:06 pm
By: Emory Bryan

It is the third day of testimony in the Bob Bates trial. The prosecution continues to lay out its case by questioning deputies who were part of the takedown of Eric Harris.

Bates is a former Tulsa County reserve deputy charged with second-degree manslaughter of Harris, a convicted felon who was fatally shot during a sting operation last year.

Bates claims he meant to fire his Taser not his gun that day.

The prosecution put eight witnesses on the stand in the trial of Bob Bates, including some deputies who took part in the gun buy and attempted arrest of Eric Harris. Five sheriff's office deputies testified about the chase during the arrest - some noted they had guns out but did not need lethal force.

Two firefighters and a EMSA paramedic who treated Harris after he was shot testified, as did an official from the medical examiners office, who talked about the autopsy of Harris.

First on the stand was TCSO Deputy Leighton Boyd. He was the one who actually handcuffed Eric Harris. He testified about the chaotic chase with guns drawn, and he said he was prepared to use lethal force but ultimately decided he didn’t need to fire because he never actually saw a weapon on Harris.

He said Harris was still resisting arrest, but he was contained with four deputies around him when Bates announced that he was going to use the Taser, but fired his gun.

That’s when Boyd said he heard the pop and realized Bates shot Harris.

The two firefighters talked about responding to the scene and the EMSA paramedic talked about the heroic measures to try to save Harris. They arrived by chance within minutes just driving up on the scene and said they took all sorts of measures to try to save him. But of course, he died shortly after arrival to the hospital.

The case hinges on whether or not it was the bullet that killed Harris and the defense is raising questions about the autopsy, suggesting it was a heart attack during the arrest that killed Harris.

They said Harris ran 150 yards trying to escape from police, fought deputies, had meth in his system and some blockage in his arteries.

Prosecutors said by the autopsy, which says the gunshot wound killed Harris; testimony was the bullet left a golf ball sized-hole in his lungs.

The defense, however, questions the experience of the pathologist and argued it was Harris' stressed heart that killed him. Bates' attorney,  Clark Brewster got the pathologist to admit, on the stand, that the heart attack scenario was possible; and Monday, when the trial resumes, the defense has a witnesses to back up their claim.

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