The 73-year-old volunteer reserve deputy in Oklahoma who fatally shot a suspect in an incident that the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office called "inadvertent" has now been charged with second-degree manslaughter, the Tulsa County District Attorney's Office said today. Reserve deputy Robert Bates shot and killed Eric Harris April 2 after the deputy allegedly mistook his handgun for a stun-gun, officials said.
"Mr. Bates is charged with Second-Degree Manslaughter involving culpable negligence. Oklahoma law defines culpable negligence as ‘the omission to do something which a reasonably careful person would do, or the lack of the usual ordinary care and caution in the performance of an act usually and ordinarily exercised by a person under similar circumstances and conditions,” Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said in a statement today. "The defendant is presumed to be innocent under the law but we will be prepared to present evidence at future court hearings."