Local & Regional

KWGS News File Photo / KWGS

The second-degree manslaughter trial of a former Tulsa County volunteer sheriff's deputy is under way, although the courtroom was locked.

Robert Bates has pleaded not guilty in the April 2015 shooting death of Eric Harris during an undercover gun-sale sting.

Following opening statements Wednesday, Judge William Musseman called a recess, and during the recess the courtroom was locked.

Today's top stories:

  • A former Tulsa volunteer lawman's manslaughter trial begins.
  • Assistance is available for people affected by last month's tornado in north Tulsa.
  • A Tulsa Zoo sea lion has been euthanized.
U.S. Navy

The Oklahoma Senate sends Gov. Mary Fallin a bill increasing the penalties for what it refers to as "stolen valor."

The bill increases the fine tenfold for impersonating a member of the military by wearing decorations or medals. If signed into law, the fine for the misdemeanor offense will jump from $100 to $1,000. Co-author Sen. Brian Bingman said it's about protecting service men and women's integrity.

Tulsa Fire-Facebook

The Tulsa Fire Department is being imitated in a new phone scam.

Someone is using spoofing technology to appear as though they’re calling from a fire station. Deputy Chief Scott Clark said they’re asking for money to buy smoke detectors.

"We don't solicit via telephone. We get our detectors donated through corporate sponsors and other ways, so no, we wouldn't do this," Clark said.

The fire department occasionally canvases neighborhoods with recent fires to install smoke detectors, but firefighters are in uniform and don’t ask for money.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Tulsa Public Schools named its Teacher and Support Employee of the Year at two separate assemblies Tuesday.

Cooper Elementary’s third-year physical education teacher Rob Kaiser is this year’s winner. He was surprised at an assembly he thought was about safety.

"I honestly teach at the best school in the world, I work with the best teachers in the world and I teach the best kids in the world," Kaiser said. "I was just so humbled and so unbelievably honored to have received this award."

Bates Jury Seated

Apr 20, 2016
KWGS File Photo


 A 12-person jury and two alternates have been seated for the second-degree manslaughter trial of a former Tulsa County volunteer sheriff's deputy.

Jury selection ended about noon Wednesday and opening statements took placein  the trial of Robert Bates. 

The 74-year-old Bates has pleaded not guilty to the charge in the April 2015 shooting death of Eric Harris during an undercover gun-sale sting. Bates has said he mistook his handgun and stun gun when he shot Harris, who was on the ground and being restrained.


Oklahoma lawmakers officially joined the call this week for a convention of the states to amend the U.S. Constitution.

The state House passed a resolution 57–33 Monday.

"Oklahoma wants to be a part of the conversation about bringing our fiscal house under control and restoring a balance to the relationship between the federal government and the states," said Rep. Gary Banz, an author on Senate Joint Resolution 4.

Woman Shot in Tulsa Home

Apr 20, 2016
Tulsa County Booking Photo

Police responded to a shots fired call on the morning of April 20. Officers found that the victim, a white female in her 30's, had been shot in the head after an argument with a housemate. She is not expected to survive.

Police arrested one of the witnesses. Blain Butcher, 37, is accused of shooting with intent to kill. He is being held on at $75,ooo bail.

File photo

GREELEY, Colo. (AP) — Prosecutors have charged three people after two Oklahoma men were found dead in a burning truck in Colorado. The Greeley Tribune reports 34-year-old Samuel Pinney and 27-year-old Samantha Simmons are facing several charges, including murder, arson and robbery. Meanwhile, 26-year-old Nathaniel Youngman was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery. The bodies of Zach Moore and Joshua Foster were found Oct. 17. Investigators believe the deaths were tied to a pot smuggling scheme.

State of Oklahoma


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A bill that would prohibit abortions in Oklahoma due to a diagnosis of Down syndrome or a genetic abnormality has passed the Oklahoma Senate.

The bill called the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2016 passed Tuesday on a 39-6 vote. It also would allow a pregnant woman or her legal guardian to bring a civil action against the doctor who violates the law. Doctors also could face criminal penalties and the suspension or revocation of their medical license for violating the law.