- Associated Press - Monday, April 4, 2016

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) - A Bentonville man charged with the strangulation and drowning death of a Centerton man has pleaded not guilty.

The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports (https://bit.ly/1q0qz9s ) that James Andrew Bates pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of first-degree murder and tampering with physical evidence.

Bates is charged in the Nov. 22 death of 47-year-old Victor Parris Collins. Collins was found in a hot tub after Bates called police and said he had discovered Collins’ body.

Bates told police he had gone to bed after he, Collins and another man drank alcohol in his hot tub. He said Collins and the other man stayed in the hot tub.

Police say Collins appeared to have a black eye, and the rim of the hot tub and concrete patio seemed to have been recently sprayed.


Information from: Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.nwaonline.com

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