• Sheriff's spokesman: Parts of Tulsa reserve deputy's training requirements might have been waived

    BY DYLAN GOFORTH, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    Whether a Tulsa County reserve deputy’s training records even exist — let alone whether they can be found — might be irrelevant due to an exemption Sheriff Stanley Glanz could have granted his friend, a Sheriff’s Office official said Thursday night. That reserve deputy, Robert Charles Bates, 73, thought he was holding a Taser when he fatally shot 44-year-old Eric Harris on April 2, according to a statement he gave the Sheriff’s Office four days after the shooting. Bates was charged Monday with second-degree manslaughter, turned himself in to authorities Tuesday morning, posted $25,000 bond, and was released. Sheriff’s Maj. Shannon Clark flatly denied allegations that training records for Bates, a longtime friend of Sheriff Stanley Glanz, had been falsified, but he said the records of Bates’ training could not be provided until a number of things happened. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Tulsa roommates jailed after fight over Android vs. Apple smartphones

    BY KENDRICK MARSHALL, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    A pair of roommates were jailed early Friday after they reportedly fought each other when an argument that began over smartphones escalated, police said. Tulsa police were called about 1 a.m. to the Evergreen Apartments in the 8400 block of East 25th Place to investigate a stabbing. At the scene officers found Jiro Mendez covered in blood with cuts to his head and body, according to a police report. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Life sentence recommended for Hank Laird in mother's murder

    BY AMANDA BLAND, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    A jury recommended a life sentence with the possibility of parole Friday afternoon for Henry "Hank" Laird, who was convicted of first-degree murder in the beating death of his mother. Linda Laird, 56, suffered fatal injuries as she was assaulted with both ends of a shotgun between Jan. 21 and 22, 2013. The same jury deliberated two hours before finding Hank Laird guilty Thursday and one hour during the sentencing phase Friday. Prosecutors asked for the stricter of their two options, life without the possibility of parole, for the victim's murder, which Assistant District Attorney Julie Doss called "so brutal, so heinous and so awful." Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Oklahoma volunteer deputy disputes claim he lacked training

    BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | Updated: Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    TULSA — A 73-year-old Oklahoma volunteer deputy charged in the fatal shooting of a suspect in Tulsa went on national television Friday to counter criticisms of his qualifications. Speaking publicly for the first time since the April 2 shooting, Robert Bates told NBC's "Today" show that characterizations of himself as a wealthy donor who paid to join the force are "unbelievably unfair." The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office volunteer also disputed anonymously sourced comments in the Tulsa World newspaper that sheriff's office supervisors were ordered to falsify his training records. Bates previously said he received active shooter training from Arizona's Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, but a spokeswoman said Thursday the

  • Tulsa Reserve Deputy Robert Bates apologizes to Eric Harris' family

    Published: Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    Speaking publicly for the first time since he shot and killed an unarmed man during a police raid earlier this month in Oklahoma, 73-year-old reserve deputy Robert Bates apologized to the family of Eric Harris on the 'Today' show and dismissed reports that supervisors falsified his training records.

  • Help wanted: Oklahoma schools struggling to meet state requirements for test monitors

    BY ANDREA EGER, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    State-mandated testing requires test monitors to keep the process honest. But it’s a hard sell to parents and other would-be volunteers. With testing already underway, public schools all over the area are under pressure to find enough monitors fast. “Parents want to be supportive of teachers and what you’re asking is ‘Would you come over and watch our teachers and make sure they’re not cheating?’ They’re not supposed to read a book or do anything but watch a teacher give a test,” said Eric Doss, director at Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Tulsa man jailed on murder complaint in alcohol-related fatal north Tulsa crash

    BY SAMANTHA VICENT, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    A 23-year-old Tulsa man was jailed on a murder complaint in connection with an alcohol-related collision that killed one and injured three others  at the intersection of Pine Street and Yale Avenue on Wednesday night, officials said. Narson Martin was booked into the Tulsa Jail about 12:38 a.m. Thursday on second-degree murder and driving under the influence complaints, jail records show. Tulsa Police Capt. Dave Roberts said the crash occurred around 7 p.m. after Martin's small four-door sedan ran a red light while traveling south on Yale Avenue and crashed into the driver’s side of a silver Acura car that was going east on Pine Street. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Sources: Supervisors told to falsify reserve deputy's training records; department announces internal review

    BY DYLAN GOFORTH, Tulsa World | Updated: Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    Supervisors at the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office were ordered to falsify a reserve deputy's training records, giving him credit for field training he never took and firearms certifications he should not have received, sources told the Tulsa World. At least three of reserve deputy Robert Bates' supervisors were transferred after refusing to sign off on his state-required training, multiple sources speaking on condition of anonymity told the World. Bates, 73, is accused of second-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of Eric Harris during an undercover operation on April 2. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Former Picher, Oklahoma, museum destroyed by fire

    By Sheila Stogsdill, For The Oklahoman | Published: Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    The building that once housed the Picher Mining Field Museum burned this week.

  • Witnesses describe murder suspect Hank Laird as hostile, violent towards mother at trial

    BY AMANDA BLAND, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    Witnesses in the murder trial of a teen accused of bludgeoning his mother to death with a shotgun described the woman’s fear of her son, previous threatening behavior and a statement about him avenging his father’s death as testimony started Wednesday. Defendant Henry “Hank” Laird, now 19, is charged with killing his mother, 56-year-old Linda Laird, inside their home on Jan. 22, 2013. Hank Laird sported a disheveled mop of hot pink hair in his subsequent booking photo, but his strawberry blonde locks have since been cut short. His gaze alternated between the defense table, floor and occasionally the attorneys or witnesses as they spoke. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art Association in Norman sponsors trip to Philbrook Museum in Tulsa

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    Deadline to register for a one-day trip to Tulsa to tour the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa is Friday.

  • Protest rally draws crowd, ends at Tulsa County sheriff's doorstep

    BY ZIVA BRANSTETTER, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    More than 100 people turned out for a rally and march Tuesday night, demanding action against deputies who are seen and heard in a video showing the fatal shooting of an unarmed man by a Tulsa County reserve deputy. The rally began with a few dozen people in the plaza in front of the Tulsa County Courthouse and quickly grew to more than 100. A group called "We the People Oklahoma" organized the rally to call for action by Sheriff Stanley Glanz following the shooting of Eric Harris by Robert Bates, a reserve deputy. Bates, also an insurance company owner, was Glanz's campaign manager. He has purchased and donated cars and equipment for the sheriff's Violent Crime Task Force, on which he served. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • For Mrs. America 2015, a platform about prescription drugs is personal

    By Jaclyn Cosgrove, Staff Writer | Updated: Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    Tulsa resident Michelle Evans didn’t anticipate she would serve as Mrs. America 2015. But she wanted to raise awareness about how harmful prescription painkillers can be, and the pageant gave her a platform to do that.

  • Sheriff's office confirms names of deputies in video, says they didn't hear gunshot

    BY ZIVA BRANSTETTER and DYLAN GOFORTH, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    A deputy who made a controversial statement to a man in a video that has gained national attention did not hear the gunshot, sheriff's officials told the Tulsa World. When asked by the World to confirm whether two names on a court witness list were the deputies depicted in the video, Undersheriff Tim Albin confirmed their names. The witness list is attached to a criminal charge filed Tuesday against Robert Bates, a reserve deputy who claimed he mistook his gun for a Taser when he shot Eric Harris, who was on the ground and unarmed. The deputy who made the statement — "f--- your breath" — to Harris after he had been shot is Joseph Byars. A deputy shown in the video kneeling on Harris' head is Michael Huckeby. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Three arrested as new video surveillance system foils thefts at Tulsa gun show

    BY KELLY BOSTIAN, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    Three men were arrested Friday and Saturday during the Wanenmacher’s Tulsa Arms Show with the help of a new video surveillance system in the River Spirit Expo building, and the accused are longtime trusted gun dealers. “The surprising thing, all three of these were dealers, they had (vendor) badges, and they had been coming to our show for several years,” said show founder Joe Wanenmacher. “These were not young guys, either. I’ll just say they were old enough to know better. This is wild!” Arrested were show vendors Kenneth Lee Reynolds, 74, of Ottumwa, Iowa; George Reginald Adams, 78, of Wichita Falls, Texas; and Richard Eugene Futch, 68, of Seymore, Texas. Read the rest of this story TulsaWorld.com.

  • WATCH: Officer-involved shooting 'tragic incident,' say Sand Springs police

    BY SAMANTHA VICENT, Tulsa World | Updated: Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    SAND SPRINGS — An officer who shot and killed a man with a history of mental illness on Saturday followed proper procedure in what the assistant police chief said was a "tragic incident," the city's Deputy Police Chief said Monday. "There are no winners here," Mike Carter said during a Monday news conference. "This is a tragedy." Carter said Sand Springs officer Brian Barnett, 25, killed Donald W. Allen, 66, after Allen made threatening statements while approaching Barnett with a loaded .22-caliber pistol. Allen, according to a phone call his wife had with police, had a paranoid schizophrenia diagnosis, and Carter said he had been detained for mental health reasons in the past. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • UPDATE: Reserve deputy charged with manslaughter turns himself in to authorities

    FROM STAFF REPORTS - Tulsa World | Updated: Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    The Tulsa County reserve deputy who was charged with second-degree manslaughter for fatally shooting during an undercover gun sting turned himself in to authorities Tuesday morning. Robert Charles "Bob" Bates, 73, will be booked into Tulsa Jail on a felony second-degree manslaughter complaint in the death of Eric Courtney Harris. The charge was filed Monday in Tulsa County District Court by Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler, who called the shooting “culpable negligence” on the part of Bates. Read the full story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Oklahoma news briefs for April 14

    Published: Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    Oklahoma news briefs for April 14, 2015

  • Reserve deputy bought cars, equipment for undercover unit

    BY ZIVA BRANSTETTER, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Apr 13, 2015

    A Tulsa County reserve deputy who has been charged in a fatal shooting bought at least four automobiles and surveillance equipment for the undercover unit to which he was assigned, records show. The incident was also not the first time Robert Bates has been involved in a use of force during an arrest while serving as a reserve deputy. Undersheriff Tim Albin told the Tulsa World Bates used a Taser on a person during an arrest in the past but no policy violation occurred. Bates owns an insurance company and served as chairman of the Re-elect Sheriff (Stanley) Glanz Committee in 2012. Records show he donated $2,500 to Glanz’s campaign that year. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Distracted driving among teens far worse than thought, new study shows

    BY MICHAEL SMITH, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Apr 13, 2015

    Teens have the highest rate of crashes among any group of drivers, and a new study shows that some form of distraction — with cellphone usage a major culprit — is a factor in nearly 6 out of 10 teen crashes. That 58 percent figure announced by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is more than four times the 14 percent figure that officials with the National Transportation Highway Safety Administration had gleaned from police reports. “Obviously we want this to be the year that our legislators really make a difference,” said Danial Karnes, AAA Oklahoma spokesman in Tulsa. “There are 45 states that ban texting and driving, and we need Oklahoma to be the 46th state, because this is becoming an epidemic.” Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.