HARRISON, Ark. (AP) — A convicted killer charged with shooting the mayor of the Boone County town of Everton has pleaded not guilty to attempted capital murder and weapons charges.
Thirty-five-year-old Justin Bates entered the pleas Monday during a video conference arraignment.
Court documents say Bates shot Mayor Bill Gerdes (JERR'-duss) in the hand and the back on June 15 at the Bates' home. An affidavit says Bates asked his father to call Gerdes to the home — but authorities say they have not determined a motive.
Acting Mayor Lynn Chandler says Gerdes remains in critical but stable condition at a Springfield, Mo., hospital.
Gerdes wrote to the state parole board in 2006 in support of Bates being paroled from a second-degree murder conviction. Bates was eventually paroled last September.
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