Bob Bates' Attorney Asks For Client To Be Released On Bond Pending Appeal
TULSA, Oklahoma - Attorneys for former Tulsa County reserve deputy Bob Bates filed a motion asking a judge to let Bates out on bond pending appeal for the death of Eric Harris.
A jury convicted Bates on Wednesday, April 27, 2016 of second-degree manslaughter.
As soon as the verdict was read, the judge ordered him held without bond and deputies took him into custody.
The jury recommended the maximum of four years in prison and Bates is scheduled to be sentenced on May 31.
A judge scheduled a hearing on the request for 1:30 Tuesday afternoon.
In a statement released by the attorneys representing Eric Harris' family, they say under Oklahoma law, Bates is ineligible for post-conviction bail, referencing Oklahoma law 22, statute 1077.
"[b]ail on appeal shall be allowed on appeal from a judgment of conviction of misdemeanor, or in felony cases where the punishment is a fine only" and "[b]ail on appeal...shall not be allowed after conviction of...[a]ny felony...for which the evidence shows that the defendant used or was in possession of a firearm or other dangerous or deadly weapon during the commission of the offense..."
They say because Bates was convicted of a felony with a punishment of incarceration, and because he used a firearm, bail is "simply not allowed."
The statement also says Bates should be considered a flight risk because he is "the rare convicted felon with the financial resources to leave the Sate, or even the Country, and support himself for years while on the lam."
Defense Attorney Clark Brewster said no one is safer because Bates is locked up. He said Bates is not a danger to society, and to keep a 74-year-old man in jail until his sentencing is just punitive.
Brewster said he is confident Bates' conviction will be overturned on appeal based on the truth and the law of the case.
When asked if getting bond after a conviction would be special treatment, Brewster said, "I guess he really did get special treatment. He's 74 years old, volunteered his time, charged with manslaughter, drug through court, placed in jail - that's the kind of special treatment I would like to avoid."
The defense attorney said Bates never denied he accidentally pulled his gun instead of his Taser, cooperated fully with the investigation and trial and never once attempted to flee or not take responsibility for his actions.
"This is a case that will ultimately be reversed, I am confident of that. I think, in the meantime, he shouldn't be incarcerated," Brewster said.
Bates' formal sentencing is set for May 31st.
Response To Motion For Bail:
Statement From Attorney Representing Harris Family: