Cynde Bates (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)

Murder charge dropped for man police say killed wife in front of kids

A day after a Paulding County woman told her husband she wanted a divorce, she was dead.

And while Jonathan Bates had been charged with malice murder, cruelty to children and simple battery, a judge on Tuesday dropped all the charges except for battery.

When police arrived at the scene of the W.I. Parkway home on May 5, an investigator called for help from the Department of Family and Children Services because two children, ages 7 and 4, were at their mother’s friend’s house after witnessing their parents fighting, according to a Dallas police incident report.

Their mother, Cynthia “Cynde” Bates, was at the hospital, where she later died.

The report states Jonathan Bates, the husband who called 911, had a history of domestic abuse.

Jonathan Bates (Credit: Paulding County Sheriff's Office)

When Kenneth DeMent, Cynde’s father, called the investigator from the hospital, he told the officer his daughter suffered blunt force trauma to the head and wasn’t expected to survive, the report states. 

DeMent told officers, who wrote in the police report, that his daughter had called about 11 p.m. the previous evening and asked if they could pick up the children because Jonathan had been beating on Cynde “for days.”

RELATED: ‘I’m going to rape you’ man allegedly tells mother in front of kid

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 report. 

After pushing her, Cynde Bates’ head hit the couch and when Jonathan told police he next checked, she was having trouble breathing, the report states.

And after reading an autopsy report that said their daughter died of blunt force trauma, the parents believe he is responsible for her death, the couple told Channel 2 Action News.

In court Tuesday, Paulding County Chief judge Tony Beavers said he only found probable cause for the battery charge and he dropped the murder and cruelty to children charges.

The family told Channel 2 they were devastated by the decision and the fact they can never speak to Cynde again.

“It’s not right and he doesn’t deserve to get away with this,” mother Sandy DeMent said. 

Capt. Bill Gorman, a spokesman for the Dallas police, said he was disappointed, too, and may push to bring the case before a grand jury.

“I felt we had enough evidence to get the case bound over,” Gorman told Channel 2.

Both Dallas police and the District Attorney’s Office are looking into the next steps.

“(Jonathan Bates) caused it, I know he did,” Gorman told Channel 2. “Indirectly or directly, he still did it.”

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