Judge Denies Bail For Former Reserve Deputy Bob Bates

Tuesday, May 3rd 2016, 3:02 pm
By: News On 6

A Tulsa County judge denied bail for a former reserve deputy recently convicted of second-degree manslaughter.

Bob Bates was in court Tuesday afternoon. His attorney filed a motion asking that he be released from jail on bond while he waits for his formal sentencing at the end of the month.

A jury convicted Bates last week in the shooting death of Eric Harris during an undercover sting.

5/2/2016 Related Story: Bob Bates' Attorney Asks For Client To Be Released On Bond Pending Appeal

The district attorney's office asked the judge to deny the request for bail.

After the decision, emotions ran high and Bates' attorney, Clark Brewster, and words towards Dan Smolen, who represents the Harris family. He said, "Y'all feel a lot safer about Bob Bates being in jail? I hope you feel real good about it. This punk [Smolen] is your protector."

Smolen said he did feel safer.

Also, for the first time, Bates took the stand Tuesday. He said he never intended to shoot Harris that day and wishes he had left his gun in his car.

Bates testified that he had a heart condition, sleep apnea and bad knees and back - all kept under control with medication which he hasn't been given in jail. He testified his knees are swollen to twice their size because he sleeps on a steel cot with a thin mattress.

Bates also testified he was held for the first 24 hours totally naked in a cell under suicide watch, which he didn't understand.

The judge said that wasn't enough to go against the law and grand bond. The district attorney agreed.

"Jail is not a nice place, but it doesn't mean he should be let out. He killed Mr. Harris," Assistant District Attorney Kevin Gray said.

The activist group, We The People Oklahoma, agreed with the judge's decision, but said they are concerned to hear more examples of inmates not getting medication.

"We have been a champion, fighting to make sure all people are treated fairly in David L. Moss," said Marq Lewis with We The People.

Brewster argued Bates has lifelong ties to Tulsa, strong family support, no criminal history and is not a flight risk or a danger. He said he feels strongly the case will be overturned on appeal, but was afraid it would be too late for Bates, who, he said, could die in custody.

Eric Harris' brother, Andre, said it's already too late for his brother, "I would definitely rather be sleeping on a hard piece of steel than inside of a casket, six feet deep."