Tyler man racks up another guilty verdict for beating wife

A Smith County jury found 26-year-old Joshua Ray Bates guilty Tuesday of assault against a family member.

Bates punched his wife from behind hard enough to knock her to the ground and send her to the hospital in December following an argument that took place while exchanging custody of their son outside a Smith County home. Bates and his wife were separated at the time. This is not the first time he's been convicted of assaulting a family member.

Punishment in the case is set to begin Wednesday morning, during which jury members will hear about a litany of prior offenses. Bates has a record that includes nine earlier guilty pleas in various criminal cases burglary, assault, driving while intoxicated and drug possession.

That type of record typically provides for "enhancement" to the range of punishment available to the jury, meaning Bates could face more than the typical maximum of 10 years available on a third degree felony.

Bates' case is being tried in front of Judge Jack Skeen Jr. in Smith County's 241st District Court. It is being prosecuted by Smith County Assistant District Attorney Lucas Machicek.


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