Volunteer deputy heading to Bahamas amid manslaughter charge
TULSA, Okla. - Lawyers say a volunteer sheriff's deputy plans to vacation in the Bahamas while facing a second-degree manslaughter charge in Oklahoma, a decision immediately criticized by the family of the man he killed.
Robert Bates pleaded not guilty Tuesday during his initial court appearance in Tulsa district court. Bates says he shot Eric Harris this month after confusing his stun gun with his handgun.
Authorities say Harris was shot after running from a sting operation involving gun sales.
The terms of Bates' bail don't restrict travel. His attorney, Clark Brewster, told the judge Bates' vacation had been planned for months.
But Harris' family criticized the vacation, saying it sends a "message of apathy" regarding the shooting and Harris' life.
Bates' next court date is scheduled for July 2.