A District Judge ruled that the former Tulsa volunteer sheriff’s deputy, who fatally shot an unarmed Black man, does not have the right to post bail.
A Tulsa County judge ruled on Tuesday that Robert Bates, the former Oklahoma volunteer sheriff’s deputy convicted of manslaughter in the fatal shooting of an unarmed Black man, will remain in jail as he awaits formal sentencing, Tulsa World reports.
District Judge William Musseman ruled that the 74-year-old former insurance broker, who was found guilty of second-degree murder in the slaying of Eric Harris, does not have the right to post bond due to an Oklahoma law denying bail on appeal to offenders, whose convictions involve a firearm.
While working with Tulsa County sheriff’s deputies on an undercover sting, Bates shot Harris in the abdomen breaking two of the 44-year-old’s ribs.
According to Musseman, even if statutes did permit him to set bail, the testimony from Bates offered insufficient grounds to grant the wealthy businessman that right.
The report noted that, Bates, who is scheduled for sentencing on May 31, is facing a jury recommended maximum of four years behind bars.
Bates’ mistake cost a man his life, but all he is concerned about is the condition of the jail, in which he awaits sentencing.
His conviction and the judge’s denial of bail will never equate to the life he took when he “mistook” his gun for a taser and shot an unarmed man.
We believe justice has been served here, although a four-year prison sentence may seem a little merciful for someone who paid his way to play a law enforcement officer.
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