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 today.
A Washington County trial jury announced its guilty verdicts earlier this year in May following a two day trial at the Washington County Convention Center. At trial, witnesses testified to the events surrounding the October 2017 shooting at Greenville Imports. According to the witnesses, Henry Bates had traveled to the car lot to speak with Scates about following through on a business deal the two had previously arranged. An argument ensued and a heated Scates shot Bates in the back just as Bates had turned to walk away. Following the Aggravated Assault, Scates made several claims in an attempt to justify his actions—chief among them being that Bates had made a sudden movement while turned sideways and also that after the shooting, an associate of Bates took a gun from Bates and away from the scene. The bullet wound in the center of Bates’ back and the testimony of the treating physician proved that Bates had turned away with his back to Scates. Witness testimony and the recorded 911 calls contradicted Scates’ claim that Bates’ associate took a gun from Bates following the shooting. The trial also revealed that Scates had given different versions of the shooting on multiple occasions—each time adding information that bolstered his claims. In the end, the jury voted to convict.
Scates was convicted of Aggravated Assault with a Firearm Enhancement. Aggravated Assault is punishable by up to twenty (20) years and the firearm enhancement carries a mandatory five (5) year penalty. After hearing from several witnesses, Senior Circuit Judge Ashley Hines sentenced the defendant to twenty (20) years to serve for Aggravated Assault and five (5) years to serve for the Firearm Enhancement to begin after the sentence for the underlying crime of Aggravated Assault.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Kaylon McCou and Austin Frye. “The defendant’s continued fabrication of events that were clearly debunked by the evidence and his personal and irrelevant attacks against the victim at trial and the sentencing hearing evinced his complete lack of remorse. There appeared to be no concern for the gravity of his actions then or now and, in my estimation, he left the Court little choice but to impose the maximum,” McCou added. The Office of The District Attorney hopes that Mr. Bates can feel some sense of closure, though the mental and physical toll of the shooting will undoubtedly remain.
DA Richardson added that the District Attorney’s Office appreciates the swift actions of the Greenville Police Department. It was because of the care and concern shown from dispatchers to responding officers to investigators that this case was solved in a diligent and effective manner.
Minton Pleads Guilty to 2017 Sunflower, MS Murder
Indianola, MS— District Attorney Dewayne Richardson announced today that Lazirric Minton, 27 yoa, pled guilty to his role in the March 27, 2017 murder of Annie Ruth Johnson in Sunflower, MS. Minton’s trial was set to begin Monday, June 20 […]... read more
MARCUS HUTCHINS KILLER BROUGHT TO JUSTICE
Indianola, MS—Leradrick Gardner, Jr., 25 yoa, of Indianola pled guilty to Second Degree Murder in Sunflower County Circuit Court on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 as jurors sat waiting to hear his case, District Attorney W. Dewayne Richardson announced today. Testimony […]... read more
Robinson and Sanders Convicted for Gun Violence in Leflore Circuit Court
Greenwood, MS— District Attorney Dewayne Richardson announced today that Devontarius Robinson, 23 yoa, and Ronald Deon Sanders, 26 yoa, pled guilty to gun violence crimes in Leflore County and were sentenced in Circuit Court this week. Devontarrus Robinson pled guilty […]... read more
Stacy Regular Sentenced to 30 Years for Baseball Bat Murder
Greenwood, MS— District Attorney Dewayne Richardson announced today that Stacy Regular, Sr., 48 yoa, pled guilty and was sentenced to a 30 year sentence with the Mississippi Department of Corrections as twenty-five (25) years to serve in the custody of […]... 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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District’s goal is to work with law enforcement and the judiciary to punish those who break our laws with adequate punishment. Every representative of the Office of the District Attorney pledges their commitment and full support to the protection of all citizens within the Fourth Circuit Court District.
P.O. Box 426
Greenville MS 38702
P.O. Box 1046
Indianola, MS 38751
P.O. Box 253
Greenwood, MS 38935
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.
Felony defendants appear at a first appearance and have the charges reviewed. A judge will inquire if the defendant has an attorney. If low income, the defendant may qualify for a court-appointed lawyer. No plea is entered at this time unless the defendant wishes to plead guilty or waives indictment and has an attorney present. All felony cases are presented to a grand jury in the county that the crime was committed. In the State of Mississippi, only a grand jury has the authority to indict an individual for a felony offense and require them to stand trial for the charges alleged in an affidavit and indictment.
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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