Tulsa County reserve deputy Bob Bates has been charged with manslaughter in the death of Eric Harris. Bates, 73, shot and killed Harris during an undercover gun deal April 2, 2015.
Harris became suspicious during the undercover sting and ran from police, according to Tulsa County Major Shannon Clark. Deputies took him to the ground during a struggle, and that’s when Bates shot the 44-year-old man.
Bates thought he had pulled a stun gun, rather than his firearm when he shot Harris, according to sheriff’s office investigators.
“Mr. Bates is charged with Second-Degree Manslaughter involving culpable negligence,” said District Attorney Stephen Kunzweiler.
“Oklahoma law defines culpable negligence as ‘the omission to do something which a reasonably careful person would do, or the lack of the usual ordinary care and caution in the performance of an act usually and ordinarily exercised by a person under similar circumstances and conditions,’” Kunzweiler said.
“The defendant is presumed to be innocent under the law but we will be prepared to present evidence at future court hearings,” he said.
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