The reserve deputy who accidentally shot and killed Eric Harris has pleaded not guilty in a Tulsa, OK district court to manslaughter on Tuesday (Apr. 21), the Huffington Post reports. Robert Bates said he mistook his gun for his taser and didn’t realize it until after he fired the fatal shot.
Bates was criticized by the Harris family when his lawyer told the judge that he planned to vacation in the Bahamas ahead of the July court date.
“At a time when we are still mourning the death of a loved one that he shot down in the street, Mr. Bates will be relaxing and enjoying his wealth and privilege,” the family said in a statement released Tuesday.
The 73-year-old was charged after a video surfaced on him shooting Harris and then apologizing. During a sting operation, Harris was caught selling guns and took off on foot once he realized what was happening. He was then pinned down by Bates, but after the accidental shooting, two other officers ignored Harris when he said he was losing his breath and told him “F–k your breath!”