"I noticed that Harris was running in an unusual way because as he ran he repeatedly touched his right hand to his waistband," he wrote. "Based on my past experience, primarily with the task force, and my past training, I believed that Harris might be carrying a gun."
After news of the murder broke, questions arose as to why a volunteer deputy would be utilized on a Tulsa Sheriff's Department Violent Crimes Task Force operation and evidence pointed per the usual to money. Bates is now confirmed to have donated cars, video equipment, and other items to the Tulsa Sheriff's Department over the years. He also donated at least $2,500 toward Sheriff Stanley Glanz's Re-Election Campaign. Robert Bates now faces 2nd Degree Manslaughter charges, and jury selection began earlier this week. There have already been several moments of controversy in the weeks and months leading up to jury selection.
- Judge James Caputo, who was originally assigned to oversee the trial, has been removed after it was discovered that he was also a reserve deputy. Caputo himself had not disclosed his position with the department. In addition, He had served as personal attorney for Lance Ramsey (the undercover officer in the video below) in two separate divorces prior to becoming a judge.
- Bates defense team has come under scrutiny after it was found that an altered Smith & Wesson .357 revolver was included on the list of exhibits to be presented at trial. The weapon was a duplicate of the gun Bates used to EXECUTE Eric Harris; and had been modified from the standard trigger function to a "hair trigger." based on statements in a court affidavit, made by former gun store employee Michael Hardison, it is suspected that the defense planned to confuse the jurors into believing that it would have been easy for Bates to have mistaken his handgun for a taser. Hardison also stated that he quit his job after being asked to modify the gun for the trial.