According to a new report by CBS News, a 2009 internal investigation by the Tulsa Sheriff’s Office into the training of Robert Bates, the reserve deputy who claims he mistakenly shot and killed Eric Harris earlier this month, deemed his training “questionable” and marked by “preferential treatment,” with Bates apparently warning officers “that he could do what he wanted.”
Crittenden, the Daily Beast reports, was a former pro wrestler before becoming a Tulsa deputy. He was fired from the department in 2011 and is currently imprisoned under a first-degree murder charge for the death of 33-year-old Michael Jones, a pimp killed in a hotel shootout. He appears to have confirmed suspicions raised by previous reports and the 2009 investigation into Bates’ training:
In a sworn statement from behind bars, Crittenden said he was “ordered…to sign off on official field training records which falsely stated that Mr. Bates had received training that we knew never took place.”
(Crittenden is currently suing the Tulsa Sheriff’s Office for wrongful termination.)
“I have a piece of paper by Mr. Warren Crittenden—[he’s] now in jail for first-degree murder 40 miles east of here, in Mayes County—signed off to say I’d done a good job,” Bates told Matt Lauer on the Today show last Friday.
The Tulsa Sheriff’s Office confirmed an internal investigation occurred, but refused to elaborate to CBS News. Meanwhile, the Tulsa World reports, the Tulsa County District Court judge assigned to Bates’ case, James Caputo, is considering recusing himself because of his past as a Tulsa deputy sheriff. Bates, 73, pleaded not-guilty Tuesday to second-degree manslaughter.