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Convicted wife beater gets 10 years

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Joshua Bates (Courtesy Smith County Jail) Joshua Bates (Courtesy Smith County Jail)
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TYLER (KYTX) - 26-year-old Joshua Ray Bates will spend at least two and a half years in prison for attacking his wife outside his home based on a ten-year prison term handed down Wednesday. His term was significantly extended by a lengthy criminal history that includes additional instances of family violence.

On Tuesday the jury decided Bates did, in fact, beat his wife last December. His plea Wednesday was to admit that he has spent a large part of the last decade in jails and prisons.

"He was always being blamed for something, whether he did it or not," Bates' grandfather Gary said.

Bates lived with Gary and grandmother Darlene from age seven until his first trip to prison at seventeen.

"When he got out, 99% of the Joshua I knew at the time was there. He was easy going, still fun and was really looking forward to doing something good when he got out. The only difference I have ever seen over the years with him while he was in the penitentiary system, his temper became quick," Gary said. "And I have always blamed that on our penitentiary system, because living in those conditions, that made him that way."

"He's a good person," Darlene said. "He got in with the wrong kids and he just spiraled down."

Both grandparents pledged their support, no matter the outcome. At times Bates' now ex-wife, the victim, sat quietly crying.

"He's a grandson, he's a brother, and he is a father to a two-year-old boy who adores him," defense attorney Zachary Davis said.

Davis argued bates was no monster. But prosecutors Lucas Machicek and Kenneth Biggs laid out a pattern of crime that turned what would have been a misdemeanor into a major felony.
"But for the conduct of Joshua Bates, we wouldn't be here talking about two to twenty," Machicek said as he drew a ladder diagram representing the mistakes Bates has made and how they escalated the severity of his case. "And you don't get to the top of the ladder without some effort."

That "effort" included Bates committing additional crimes the last time he was on parole.

When he learned he'd been sentenced to ten years he simply shook his head. Minutes earlier he was heard telling a sheriff's deputy during a court recess that he never beat his wife to begin with.
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