Paulding murder suspect skips trial, but is arrested 2 days later

Man accused of killing wife in 2017 captured in Dawson County
Cynde Bates died in Paulding County in May 2017.

Cynde Bates died in Paulding County in May 2017.

A murder trial for a man accused of killing his wife nearly seven years was set to begin Monday in a Paulding County courtroom.

But when Jonathan Bates didn’t show up, a bench warrant was issued for his arrest and the U.S. Marshals Service was notified, the Paulding sheriff’s office. Bates didn’t get very far: On Tuesday, he was arrested in Dawson County.

“I am grateful for the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office and the interagency cooperation which quickly led to the arrest of Jonathan Bates,” Paulding Sheriff Gary Gulledge said.

On Thursday, Bates was back in the Paulding jail.

On May 5, 2017, Bates called 911 to report that his wife was injured when the two fought inside their W.I. Parkway home. The couple’s children, then ages 4 and 7, witnessed the fight, according to investigators.

The Dawson County Sheriffs Office Warrant Unit, in conjunction with the US Marshals Service apprehended Jonathan Bates...

Posted by Dawson County Sheriff's Office - Dawsonville, GA on Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Cynde Bates had told her husband the day before she wanted a divorce. She died from blunt force trauma to the head, investigators determined.

Jonathan Bates admitted to police that he pushed his 28-year-old wife while their two children were in the room, officers wrote in the incident report. Cynde Bates hit her head on a sofa and her husband she was having trouble breathing, the report states.

Bates was charged with murder after his wife’s death. But the following month, Judge Tonny Beavers said he only found probable cause for a battery charge and dropped the murder and cruelty to children charges.

But the case wasn’t dropped.

In 2022, Bates was indicted by a grand jury on 11 charges, including malice murder, felony murder, aggravated battery, aggravated assault and cruelty to children, Paulding court records show.

But after being granted a $16,500 bond, Bates didn’t return for an October 2022 court date and had been on the run since, according to investigators.

Beavers, who has since retired, later recused himself from the case.

A new trial date has not been scheduled.