Oklahoma court referee to consider Tulsa grand jury probe

FILE - In this Tuesday, April 21, 2015, file photo, Robert Bates arrives for his arraignment at the Tulsa County courthouse in Tulsa, Okla. Bates, a 73-year-old Tulsa County reserve deputy, fatally shot a suspect who was pinned down by officers. The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office in a motion filed Wednesday, June 24, 2015, is asking a judge to toss a petition calling for a grand jury investigation into the agency, saying the petition is misleading and make no specific allegations against the office. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma Supreme Court referee is scheduled to consider a request by the Tulsa County sheriff to stop a grand jury investigation following the fatal shooting of an unarmed man by a volunteer deputy and longtime friend.

Referee Greg Albert will hear oral presentations Tuesday in Sheriff Stanley Glanz’s request to overturn a lower court’s decision to empanel a grand jury July 20.

More than 6,600 Tulsans petitioned for the investigation into whether Glanz neglected his duties and whether reservists who gave gifts to the sheriff were shown special treatment. Glanz’s lawyers say some signatures were gathered improperly and the petition should be rejected.

The petition drive began after 73-year-old reserve deputy Robert Bates shot and killed Eric Harris on April 2. Bates has pleaded not guilty to second-degree manslaughter.

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