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How’s this for a track record? “Justin Bates [above] beat and kicked Dickey until he died, then repeatedly told another man not to call police, an Arkansas State Police corporal wrote in the affidavit. Bates was convicted of second-degree murder in 2000 and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Bates’ prison record [reveals] more than a dozen disciplinary violations, several of which were violent in nature, according to correction spokeswoman Shea Wilson. His last disciplinary violation was in early 2010 and his last violent violation was in 2007.” This account doesn’t include any prior violations, of course. Anyway, reports that the Mayor of Everton wanted Bates returned to society. In a 2006 letter to the parole board, Bill Gerdes wrote . . .

Having visited him during his incarceration from time to time I have noticed his progress and a change of atitude, espepecially the last 2 years. I think him and his outlook on life have changed a lot for the better . . .

I have known Justin Bates for approximately 15 years, known of his problem and what he was incarcerated for. I have no problem at all with him returning to this small town of Everton, Ark. if he so wishes.

He so wished. Wrong answer, for both men.

Boone County Sheriff Danny Hickman said [Mayor] Gerdes was shot with a .30-30 rifle outside Bates’ fathers’ residence there Wednesday night around 6 p.m.

Hickman said Gerdes was shot in the back and left hand. He was airlifted to St. John’s Regional Health Center where he was listed in “critical” condition.

Hickman said Bates, who had been paroled from prison within the last year, barricaded himself inside the residence and held officers at bay for about seven hours until an Arkansas State Police Special Response Team took him into custody, shooting him five times with bean bag ammunition while he was still armed.

Seems like a waste of perfectly good beans to me. Just sayin’ . . .

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  1. Some men are just animals. Some well intentioned people just refuse to believe that. I see from the suicide gown in the photo that he must have continued being an animal once he got to jail-no pockets or way to use the thick material in a way to hurt yourself or others. I would say he has surpassed the bar on the “qualified for a bullet” scale. I wonder if the mayor still thinks he’s a changed man?

    • Cujo, some people are so invested in their belief that “people will be good, if just given a chance” they’ll never open their eyes to reality.

      Unfortunately for the rest of us, those do-gooders tend to create messes that get ordinary citizens killed.

  2. This is just like playing with a rattle snake. The snake may be nice and not bite you right away, but eventually that snake will kill you.

  3. This man killed my father. He should have never been paroled. I still don’t understand how someone can get sentenced to 20 years and get out in less than half of that… I bet the mayor wouldn’t have been so quick to help him if he had killed someone close to the mayor. I will never get my father back. Hope he spends the rest of his miserable existence in prison.

    • I’m sorry for your loss, I don’t know the person but I do know his family and they too have suffered from his doings. He served his full 20 years and was released 10/19 and in speaking with family, no one has seen or heard from him since released. You said he killed your father so were you just a baby at the time when the fight happened? I heard friends of the accused drove the injured person around town then dumped him which then he died from lack of air but all of which would not have happened if the fight had not happened. I know that when the shooting of the mayor happened the family was shocked and have relived it. The mayor was sexually using this person along with others and since then he has died from cancer. Perhaps Bates had many things wrong with him but I know this does not take away your loss. God be with you and heal the pain and hurt you hold. If the mayor knew getting him out early would result in him getting shot perhaps he would have thought differently, but he was never charged for it although he was sent back to serve the full 20 years. Perhaps the mayor held guilt for the things he did to them as boys and he admitted he did these things but was never charged, being a town official. It just shows the system stinks and when hiding on their own others suffer too. I heard that the investigation was underplayed. Why weren’t the ones involved who though a joyride was funny not charged? No good choices were made but never can it be fixed.

      • Your details about my father’s death are very inaccurate. He was not driven around town, he died in the driveway of the house he was taking this murderer to, who was also one of his coworkers….I was 10 at the time, not a baby. He died of blunt force trauma to his head. I am sickened that this man now walks free. He should have been given a life sentence.

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