NORMAN -- The family of a 5-year-old boy who was killed when a bullet from a Noble police officer's gun struck him is angry that a plea agreement between the officer and the state requires no jail time.
Cleveland County prosecutors have offered deferred sentences to two former Noble police officers charged with second-degree manslaughter in the Aug. 3 death of Austin Haley.
"It's nothing more than a slap on the wrist, if you ask me," Jack Haley, the boy's father, said Tuesday.
Haley said sentencing for Paul Bradley Rogers, 34, and Robert Shawn Richardson, 29, would be deferred for two years in exchange for them entering guilty pleas. The men also would be fined $1,000 each and ordered to forfeit their state law enforcement certifications, he said.
Assistant District Attorney David Brockman declined to confirm that an offer has been made in the cases.
"We know the family is unhappy, but we can't comment on cases that are pending," Brockman said.
Haley said Brockman and District Attorney Greg Mashburn told the family on Monday about the offer.
The family most objects to the provision that doesn't require the men to serve any jail time, Haley
"This sweetheart deal doesn't serve us; it doesn't serve justice, and it doesn't serve the public," he said.
The family still is grieving the loss of a child, Haley said, "and now this. This just makes it worse. We're the victims here, and we don't feel like we have an advocate."
Austin Haley died when a bullet from one of the officers' guns ricocheted and hit him while he was outside fishing with his grandfather. The officers were in a neighbor's yard, firing at a snake in a birdhouse.
Jack Haley said the family wanted the men to serve "maybe 30 to 90 days."
"They killed somebody because of their negligence. They shouldn't get deferred sentences that can be expunged from their record after two years are up," he told The Oklahoman.
Brockman said prosecutors have kept the Haley family informed of the case's progress.
But Haley said until Monday he thought prosecutors were talking about some jail time, "like, maybe 30 days."
On Monday, he said, the family learned that the two men had waived their rights to a preliminary hearing and that a disposition date for the cases had been set.
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