Former Tulsa Reserve Deputy Bob Bates Returns To Court

Wednesday, April 6th 2016, 11:16 am
By: Emory Bryan

Former Tulsa County Reserve Deputy Bob Bates was back in court Wednesday for a discovery hearing.

Bates is charged with second-degree manslaughter in the death of Eric Harris just over a year ago.

Wednesday's hearing revolved around expert witnesses attorney Clark Brewster plans to use: six doctors, all with opinions that Eric Harris' death can't be solely blamed on Bob Bates.

Some evidence will come from the dead man's brother.

"What we've recovered now from the text messaging with Andre Harris not only the day of the shooting, but the days leading up shows a fairly extensive drug network and what was going on in that setting that will be documented pretty clearly in our presentation to the government, or the state," said Clark Brewster, Bates' attorney.

Bates said he mistakenly pulled his gun instead of his Taser when Harris ran from law enforcement during an undercover gun deal. Bates has pleaded not guilty.

The experts will say Eric Harris had heart disease and a drug addiction, as part of a legal strategy for the defense. 

The attorney representing the Harris family in a civil case questioned whether the death could possibly be blamed on something other than the shooting, but said they've been expecting that strategy.

Bates' attorney also plans to call a psychiatrist in to talk about the mindset of the deputies sent to arrest Harris.

"They thought they were dealing with a very dangerous man, a desperate, extremely dangerous man that was ongoing selling drugs and guns and involved in a fair amount of criminal enterprise that will unfold during this trial," said Clark Brewster.

Special Coverage: TCSO Reserve Deputy Shooting Controversy

Expert witnesses will address issues including "slips and capture," Brewster said. "Slips and capture" is a theory that, in high-stress situations, a person does the opposite of what the brain thinks it is doing.

"We look forward to our day in court and having this incredible ordeal over for this man," Brewster said outside the courtroom Wednesday.