Murder Suspect Enters Alford Plea In Benewah County - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Murder Suspect Enters Alford Plea In Benewah County

Melisa Bates entered an Alford plea to 2nd Degree Murder Wednesday morning Melisa Bates entered an Alford plea to 2nd Degree Murder Wednesday morning
BENEWAH COUNTY, Idaho -
A 28-year-old Benewah County woman pleaded guilty to 2nd Degree murder Wednesday morning.
 
She entered the plea under an Alford Plea, which means she does not admit to committing the act that she is charged with, but does admit that there is enough evidence that a jury would most likely find them guilty if the case went to trial. Bates was charges with killing her uncle, Robert Marek, last may.
 
As part of the agreement, Bates' defense attorney will be free to recommend any sentence the defense feels should be imposed, however it also states that the prosecutor will recommend an indeterminate life prison sentence.
 
Sentencing is set for May 18th.
 
Previous Coverage:

ST. MARIES, Idaho - Murder charges have been filed in Benewah County against Melisa Bates for killing Robert Marek.

According to the criminal complaint Bates, 27, who is Marek's niece, is accused of killing Robert Marek by shooting him with a gun and hitting him with a metal rod. The prosecutor says she then tried to dispose of the body by burning it.

Benewah County prosecutor Douglas Payne says Bates was arrested in Lakeview Tuesday afternoon. She has a home in Bayview but had been staying with her uncle and was a suspect because she was the last person with Marek before he went missing. Payne wouldn't say if they have determined a motive for murder.

Early Tuesday morning, Benewah County Sheriff's deputies came to Marek's home to check on a missing person report because Marek had failed to show up for work the day before. While on scene, deputies found "human remains". The body was later identified as Robert Marek through dental records.

Bates was scheduled to appear in court for an arraignment Wednesday morning, but the judged postponed that hearing for 30 days to complete a mental health evaluation. Bates could be heard in the halls of the courtroom yelling uncontrollably from her holding cell upstairs.

Payne says Bates will be held at a mental health institution in Lewiston.

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