An Oklahoma jury convicted a former Oklahoma volunteer sheriff’s deputy of second-degree manslaughter Wednesday on charges that he fatally shot an unarmed man last year after mistaking his gun for a Taser, reports The Associated Press.
Robert Bates, 74, a wealthy insurance executive, was accused of fatally shooting Eric Harris while working with Tulsa County sheriff’s deputies during an illegal gun sales sting, the report says.
Harris, who tried to run from deputies, was restrained when he was shot, writes The AP:
The shooting — which was caught on video — sparked several investigations that, among other things, revealed an internal 2009 memo questioning Bates’ qualifications as a volunteer deputy and showed that Bates, a close friend of the sheriff’s, had donated thousands of dollars in cash, vehicles and equipment to the agency.
Weeks after Harris was killed, an internal sheriff’s office memo from 2009 was released by an attorney for Harris’ family that alleged superiors knew Bates didn’t have enough training but pressured others to look the other way because of his relationship with the sheriff and the agency.
Longtime sheriff, Stanley Glanz, resigned in November after he was indicted on charges of failing to release the 2009 memo, the report says.
Bates received the maximum sentence of four years. After the verdict, he was handcuffed and taken into custody pending formal sentencing at a later date, writes The AP.