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Volunteer denies gun death charge

Published 21/04/2015

Robert Bates was carrying a Taser and a handgun when officers stopped Eric Harris. (AP)
Robert Bates was carrying a Taser and a handgun when officers stopped Eric Harris. (AP)

A 73-year-old police volunteer who fatally shot a suspect who was pinned down by fellow officers has pleaded not guilty to second-degree manslaughter.

Robert Bates made his initial court appearance in Tulsa District Court, Oklahoma, and declined to comment to reporters.

The Tulsa County reserve deputy says he shot Eric Harris on April 2 after confusing his stun gun and handgun. Mr Harris died after running from a sting operation involving gun sales.

The district attorney charged Bates over the death after the sheriff's office released video of the shooting in which Bates is heard apologising for the shooting.

A lawyer for Mr Harris's family said the sheriff's office violated a number of internal policies by letting Bates carry his personal handgun.

His next court date is scheduled for July 2.

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From Belfast Telegraph