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Arizona man convicted of 1st-degree murder in wife’s 2016 death

(Pexels)

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A Tucson man accused of fatally shooting his wife in 2016 has been convicted of first-degree murder in the case.

Pima County prosecutors say King Yates faces a prison term ranging from 25 years to life when he’s sentenced March 23.

The 25-year-old Yates represented himself in the six-day trial.

A judge ordered Yates to undergo an exam in July 2018 to determine if he was competent to represent himself or stand trial.

Yates was ruled incompetent in November 2018 and ordered to participate in the jail’s competency restoration program.

Doctors with the jail program sent a report to the court in May 2019 saying Yates had been found competent and ready to proceed without medication.

Jurors deliberated less than two hours Wednesday before handing down a verdict.

Yates was arrested on suspicion of killing his 24-year-old wife Cassandra Yates, whose body was found at a neighbor’s apartment on Nov. 20, 2016.

The neighbor testified that King Yates cleaned his gun, wiped down her apartment and made her delete information from her phone before he fled the scene.

Yates is also facing another first-degree murder charge in connection with the April 2017 strangulation death of his jail cellmate.

A trial date for that case hasn’t been set, but he has a Feb. 18 status conference.

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