Idaho Woman Gets To At Least 30 Years In Uncle's Murder - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Idaho Woman Gets To At Least 30 Years In Uncle's Murder

ST. MARIES, Idaho (AP) - A mentally ill woman who shot and beat her uncle last year and burned his body in a fire pit has been sentenced to 30 years to life for his murder.

Melisa R. Bates was sentenced Thursday by 5th District Court Judge Fred Gibler. Last month, following court-ordered mediation, the 28-year-old Bates entered an Alford plea to second-degree murder in the May 15, 2011 death of 43-year-old Robert R. Marek of St. Maries. In an Alford plea, the defendant doesn't admit guilt, but acknowledges prosecutors have enough evidence to gain a conviction.

Gibler cited a recent mental-health evaluation of Bates, which "strongly recommended" that she be held in a secure facility because she poses a significant risk to the community.
Defense attorney Will Butler says Bates' mental illness began showing up in her early teens.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 

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