Bounty hunters to be regulated if new legislation passes

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Lawmakers are working on legislation that would regulate bounty hunters in the state of Oklahoma.

State Sen. Ralph Shortey, R - Oklahoma City, is behind the measure known as the “Bail Enforcement and Licensing Act.”

The proposed law lays out guidelines for bounty hunters and requires licenses.

Last weekend, bounty hunters tased a Midwest City man and killed his dog.

Midwest City Police said 23-year-old Jathan Hunt shot and killed the dog and 56-year-old Melvin Gene Marshall tased a man who was identified as Roger Latture.

He was not the man bounty hunters were searching for at the house.

The incident was caught on camera.

"I don't know all the specifics of the situation but, you know, we've got a video that shows exactly what happened," Sen. Shortey said. "This is the kind of stuff we are trying to fix."

Hunt could be charged with animal cruelty, while Marshall could be charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

The bondsman who hired the men defends their actions and said he believes the video vindicates them of any wrongdoing.

"The laws that we have proposed would put them under some regulations and that's the kind of stuff we need to do so we can avoid these kind of things from happening," Sen. Shortey said.

The bill passed the Senate 46-0.

It will now move to the House for consideration.

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