TULSA, OK - "Oh God...Oh, he shot me!" a dying man uttered. Now that victim received some justice...
How easy is it to confuse a gun for a taser?
That was the question a jury in Oklahoma decided in less than three hours, finding 74-year-old former Reserve Deputy Robert Bates guilty of second-degree manslaughter in the fatal shooting death of an unarmed suspect -- Eric Harris in 2015.
"I thank God for the conviction," the victim's brother Andre Harris said.
The victim found himself in the middle of an undercover sting, when he tried selling a gun to an officer.
When Harris realized the jig was up -- he fled. Police body-cam footage shows what happened next: "Roll on your stomach!" an officer demanded.
Then, a gunshot was heard. "Oh no, he shot him!"
"I shot him. I'm sorry," Bates said, apologizing for shooting Harris in the back with his gun, although he later claimed he had been reaching for his taser.
His defense at trial was that "the stress of the situation" caused the fatal mistake.
But an investigation showed that Bates may not have been properly trained and may have been given preferential treatment by the sheriff, a personal friend.
The victim's brother was happy to see some form of justice delivered. "Justice is the most high God," he declared. "Justice is the most high God, and I'll leave that one alone."
The jury recommended Bates serve the maximum four-year sentence, but a judge will decide his fate next month. Bates was escorted out of the court room by deputies from the department he once served.
"I hope he's taught a lesson that all lives matter," the victim's brother shared.
After protests and public outrage, perhaps this verdict will help the community heal from some deep wounds.