Gates trial postponed to April
OXFORD – Timothy Keith Gates, who is accused of murdering a Lafayette County High School student in 1994, will not go to trial on capital murder charges until April.
According to Lafayette County Circuit Court officials, defense attorney Joey Langston’s motion for a continuance was granted. Gates’ trial is now scheduled to begin April 15.
Gates, 36, of Tula was indicted in January 1995 on one count of capital murder and one count of aggravated assault. He is accused of killing James Scott Patterson, 17, and of shooting Patterson’s friend, Jason Gossett, during the course of a robbery on Dec. 1, 1994, in Lafayette County.
Also on a motion by Langston, Circuit Court Judge Kenneth Coleman ordered that a jury be selected from DeSoto County residents and sequestered in Oxford for the duration of the trial. Langston argued that the publicity surrounding the case and the popularity of the victim precluded an impartial jury from being selected in Lafayette County.
Former District Attorney Larry Little has been named a special prosecutor in the case. If convicted of the charges, Gates could face the death penalty or life plus 20 years in prison.