Oklahoma lawmakers are considering a bill that would regulate the state’s bounty hunters. The measure, also known as the Bail Enforcement and Licensing Act, was introduced by state Sen, Ralph Shortney last week.
Some feel the timing of the bill is telling. The previous weekend a man was tased by two bounty hunters. They then shot and killed his dog. Responding officers determined the man in question, Roger Latture, was not the person the bounty hunters were looking for. Police say the incident was filmed with a cell phone camera. Proponents of the bill say that incidents such as this are the exact reason the industry needs greater oversight. The Senator reportedly said this is exactly the type of stuff he hopes the bill will fix.
Charges have not yet been filed against the bounty hunters but it is believed that one will be charged with animal cruelty while the other could face charges of assault and battery. Those men have continued to maintain their innocence and believe the video in question will absolve them from the alleged wrongdoing. It is unclear when they will be arrested and/or arraigned.
The bill was in a unambitious vote. It will need to receive passage in the House in order for the regulations to move forward. If it receives a majority vote the mandate will likely go into effect on Jan 1, 2014. House representatives have not indicated when they will take the matter into consideration.