TULSA, Okla. (AP) – A 73-year-old Oklahoma reserve deputy who fatally shot a suspect who was pinned down by officers has pleaded not guilty to a second-degree manslaughter charge.
Robert Bates made his initial court appearance Tuesday morning in Tulsa district court and declined to comment to reporters.
The Tulsa County volunteer says he shot Eric Harris on April 2 after confusing his stun gun and handgun. Harris died after running from a sting operation involving gun sales.
The district attorney charged Bates in the death after the sheriff’s office released video of the shooting in which Bates is heard apologizing.
An attorney for Harris’ family said Monday that the sheriff’s office violated a number of internal policies by letting Bates carry his personal handgun.
Bates’ next court date is scheduled for July 2.