SAYRE, Okla. (AP) - A white former Oklahoma reserve deputy who fatally shot an unarmed black man has been released from prison after serving less than half of his four-year sentence.
Department of Corrections spokesman Matt Elliott says 76-year-old Robert Bates was released around 6:45 a.m. Thursday from the North Fork Correctional Center in western Oklahoma.
The ex-Tulsa County sheriff's volunteer deputy served just over 16 months due to credits he earned for good behavior while he was in custody. Bates will be on probation for nine more months.
The Harris shooting drew thousands of county residents to petition for a grand jury to investigate allegations that Bates was unqualified to serve as a deputy but was kept on the force because of his close ties to indicted ex-Sheriff Stanley Glanz.