Two Of The Three Accused Tulsa Officers Acquitted


Friday, June 10th 2011, 6:46 pm
By: News On 6


Emily Baucum, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- A federal jury has reached a verdict in the corruption trial of three Tulsa Police officers.

Two of the three officers, Nick DeBruin and Bruce Bonham, were found not guilty on all counts by a federal jury Friday.

However, Harold Wells was found guilty on 5 of 8 counts, including carrying firearm during drug trafficking, conspiracy to possess and distribute meth, stealing $1,000 in U.S. funds, plus aiding and abetting in its theft and using a communications facility to commit a drug felony.

The jury deliberated about four hours before reaching its verdict. DeBruin and Bonham can now move on with their lives. Retired Corporal Harold Wells was handcuffed and taken into custody -- leaving a clearly shell-shocked family to take out their anger on the news media.

Emotions flared as Harold Wells' sobbing wife was carried to the car. 

"I'm not touching you! Oh God! Take me to jail! I'm not a Mexican!" said an emotional Wells family member to the Tulsa media gathered outside the federal courthouse.

The grief-stricken family member was restrained, but another Wells supporter attacked the cameras.

"The family is in pain. Do you care? Do you care that the family is in pain? Do you care?" yelled a second Wells family member to about dozen media members.

As the bizarre scene played out, the second woman says the real dirty cops are the ones who made plea deals in exchange for immunity.

"These guys were all offered deals, and they wanted to tell the truth instead. And this is what they get," she said.

Meanwhile, Bruce Bonham and Nick DeBruin are cleared of all charges, but celebrations are on hold.

"It's mixed emotions. Harold Wells was and is an extremely good friend of mine. Has been for many, many years," Bonham said. "I feel for him and his family right now because I feel he was wrongly convicted."

Defendants, lawyers and family members might never know what swayed the jury against Wells; they're not allowed to ask.

Wells did not take the stand in his own defense. But Bonham and DeBruin told the jury their stories.

"I think that was the big thing. I've been waiting to tell my story since the day this happened. It's the first chance I actually got," DeBruin said.

6/10/2011 Related Story: Jury Deliberations Underway In Tulsa Police Corruption Trial

"I've never been handcuffed in my life, other than the academy, and I - it was the worst day of my life," Bonham said.

They say they feel betrayed by the justice system they've worked their whole lives to uphold and stabbed in the back by the officers who got plea deals, like J.J. Gray who testified against them.

"Everybody feels betrayed by J.J. Not a tenth of J.J.'s crimes have come out," Bonham said.

They leave the courthouse free men, knowing how fragile their fates were just moments ago.

"After nine months of not knowing, you don't want to get your hopes up and get them smashed," Bonham said.

Bruce Bonham and Nick DeBruin hope to get their jobs back with Tulsa Police, but it will be a lengthy process.

Internal Affairs must go through more than 80,000 pages of evidence -- plus all the hidden camera recordings played in court.

The Tulsa Police Department released a statement tonight saying it's been "shaken to the core" and because of this trial -- policies will be reviewed and revised.