Tulsa Pretend Cop Enters Plea, Takes Bahamas Vacation Like Any Other Manslaughter Suspect
Robert Bates, the 73-year-old Tulsa, Oklahoma, insurance executive who likes to play cop, and also shot a guy dead, pleaded not guilty to second-degree manslaughter charges Tuesday, then got the judge's permission to go ahead and take a family vacation in the Bahamas, because why not? What, the man has already had his name dragged through the press for shooting a suspect to death when he grabbed his .357 revolver instead of his taser -- you monsters want him to lose his deposit, too? Hasn't Reserve Deputy Bates suffered enough?
Bates is currently free on $25,000 bail, and promised Judge Deborrah Ludi-Leitch he'll be back in time for his preliminary hearing on July 2, and also to bring back a nice souvenir, maybe something whimsical carved out of a coconut.
Following the arraignment, Bates's attorney, Clark Brewster, said, "This gave us the opportunity to deal with the facts in the courtroom instead of the media." He did not specify whether Mr. Bates would take the opportunity to drive around the island paradise in a Ferrari while humming the Magnum, P.I. theme. Besides, the trip had already been planned, according to another member of the defense team, Corbin Brewster, Clark Brewster's son:
"Prior to the April 2 incident, Robert had planned to take his family and grandkids on a trip," he said. "The District Attorney's Office announced they didn't have any problem with that travel or the itinerary."
Look, the man had plans, OK? The judge presumably also took into consideration how unsightly an ankle bracelet would look with shorts, as well as how it might interfere with Mr. Bates's tan.
The family of Eric Harris, the suspect Bates killed, issued a very insensitive statement that seemed almost peeved about Bates taking some much-needed R & R:
"Whether intended or not, Mr. Bates' vacationing in the Bahamas at this time sends a message of apathy with respect to the shooting and Eric's life," according to the statement released by the family's attorneys. "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."
Touchy, touchy. Sounds to us like CLASS WARFARE -- just because it's inconceivable that most accused killers would be allowed to take a tropical vacation doesn't mean that rich accused killers need to be singled out for unfair burdens (expect Bill O'Reilly to explain this later in the week). Besides, haven't they considered that this could actually be a chance for the community to heal? Maybe Bates will find some cool new Bahamian police cars that he can donate to the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office. Are people supposed to just put their whole lives on hold simply because they killed someone?
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