JOHN SCATES, JR. FOUND GUILTY OF AGGRAVATED ASSAULT WITH ENHANCEMENT
Greenville, MS—John Scates, Jr., 49, of Greenville was found Guilty of Aggravated Assault with a Firearm Enhancement in Washington County following a two-day jury trial, District Attorney Dewayne Richardson announced today.
The State presented evidence to the jury at the trial that during the early evening of October 19, 2017, the victim, Henry Bates traveled to Scates’ place of business, Greenville Imports, to finalize a business deal. Witnesses present testified that they heard the two arguing before gun shots rang out. A nearby associate of Bates testified that after he heard the shots, he looked up and could only see Scates standing so he ran over to where they were to find Bates lying on the ground with a gunshot wound to the middle of his lower back and Scates standing over him pointing a gun down at him. The Greenville Police Department was called and quickly arrived on scene along with emergency medical responders. Bates was taken to Delta Regional Medical Center and Scates was arrested and charged with Aggravated Assault.
Scates originally told officers that he thought he saw Bates reaching behind him to pull a weapon but did not see a gun. He later told the investigator that he feared for his life because he could not fight multiple people. When he decided to testify at trial, he added that the reason the wound was in the center of Bates’ back was because Bates was turned to the side attempting to draw his own firearm and that after the shooting, he observed Bates’ associate take the gun that Bates was attempting to pull away from the scene.
Nearly all testimony and evidence contradicted Scates’ versions of events. When cross-examined, he admitted that none of the responding officers reported that he told them anything about Bates having a gun and that he did not tell the lead investigator about any alleged gun during his official statement. He also admitted that, contrary to his statement that he was afraid to fight multiple people, Bates was the only person near him when he shot him. During closing arguments, attorneys for the State pointed out his false statements in addition to the undisputed facts that the dispatch report showed that the first officer on scene was already in the area when the call came out and made it on-scene almost immediately, that the recorded 911 calls proved that Bates’ associate never left his side after the shooting, and that given the location of the entry wound to Bates’ back, Scates’ claim about their positioning was unequivocally false.
Following closing arguments, and after just over an hour of deliberations, the jury announced its verdict convicting Scates of Aggravated Assault with a Firearm Enhancement in open court at the Washington County Convention Center at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Scates was taken into custody to await sentencing. He faces up to 25 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Kaylon McCou, Takiyah Perkins, and Austin Frye. McCou stated “Business disagreements over money are never a justification to shoot another human being and those who choose violence over peace will continue to be brought to justice.”
The Office of the District Attorney is thankful for the work of the Greenville Police Department, the service of the trial jury, and the willingness to serve for those who answered the call to jury service.
SCATES, JR. SENTENCED TO MAXIMUM
Greenville, MS—John Scates, Jr. was sentenced to Twenty-Five (25) years to serve in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections following a sentencing hearing for his conviction of Aggravated Assault with a Firearm Enhancement, District Attorney Dewayne Richardson announced […]... read more
WELLS SENTENCED TO TWENTY-FIVE YEARS IN PRISON
Greenville, MS—Geor’Barri Wells was sentenced to Twenty-Five (25) years to serve in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections stemming from his convictions for Second Degree Murder and Aggravated Assault, District Attorney Dewayne Richardson announced today. Wells was found [&hell... read more
DEFENDANT CONVICTED FOR SHOOTING MAN IN THE BACK
Greenville, MS—Geor’Barri Wells, 26, of Leland, was found Guilty of Second Degree Murder and Aggravated Assault Saturday in Washington County following a four-day jury trial. In the early morning hours of Thursday, May 10, 2018, officers of the Greenville Police […]... read more
JENNIFER YORK CONVICTED OF MANSLAUGHTER & CHILD NEGLECT
District Attorney W. Dewayne Richardson announced today that a Washington County Jury returned Guilty verdicts on six (6) criminal charges against Jennifer York on the evening of Wednesday, August 4, 2021. The trial, which began on Monday, August 2, was […]... read more
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The mission of the District Attorney’s Office for the Fourth Circuit Court, under the direction of
W. Dewayne Richardson, is to seek justice in order to maintain an environment of safety, security and lawful behavior for the citizens of the Fourth District.
The Office of the District Attorney uses lawful and reasonable methods to successfully identify and prosecute those who commit felony crimes. When a crime occurs, the Office of the District Attorney diligently pursues the indictment and conviction of those responsible, while adhering to all rights of the Victim, ensuring the victim is being provided all direct services applicable, and acknowledging all constitutional safeguards for the accused.
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Citizen's Involvement in the criminal justice system typically begins with them being a victim, witness, or defendant of a crime. Arrests are made generally by a judge-issued warrant or by a police officer observing a crime in process. Law enforcement may also arrest someone if it has probable cause to believe the person committed a criminal offense. When individuals are arrested they are routinely advised of their Miranda Rights upon arrest, advising them that they have the right to remain silent and that anything they say will be used against them in court. On being questioned, defendants have the right to have their attorney present or to have one appointed if they are indigent.
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If an indictment is issued, the defendant is bound over to stand trial or enter a guilty plea to the crimes alleged. When a criminal trial occurs all 12 jurors must find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Sentences are decided by Circuit Court Judges in all criminal matters. In most cases a recommendation is made regarding imprisonment, probation, fines and restitution.
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