Jury Begins Deliberating In Bob Bates Case
TULSA, Oklahoma - The jury began deliberating in the Bob Bates trial Wednesday afternoon.
The judge told the jury it was allowed to choose between second-degree manslaughter and excusable homicide.
Attorneys gave jury instructions and the jury was called in for closing arguments at 12:15 p.m.
Former Tulsa County Reserve Deputy Bates is accused of shooting Eric Harris during an undercover sting. Bates said he pulled his gun instead of his Taser by mistake.
The defense has argued that it wasn't the gunshot that killed Harris, but a heart attack. Attorney Clark Brewster called expert witnesses to back up the claim and, during closing arguments, said the state, "never offered a single witness that said Bob Bates' actions were culpably negligent."
During closing arguments, prosecutors told the jury they should use common sense and not be distracted by a "battle of the experts."
Prosecutor John Luton said, "Do we need an expert, ladies and gentlemen, to determine what happened to Eric Harris? Eight minutes after he's shot, he's dead."
The defense said Harris made choices that resulted in his own death and that Bates acted reasonably and was "someone we should be proud of." The state said Harris "deserved by be chased, tackled, handcuffed, arrested...[but] didn't deserve to be gunned down by Bates."
In a statement made by Bates, he said the "shooting was on his conscience." During closing arguments, the state asked the jury to "put it on his record."
Bates has pleaded not guilty to second-degree manslaughter and did not testify in his own defense.