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Death penalty sought for Calera man charged with murder of 3-month-old

Published 4:52pm Monday, December 17, 2012

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – Tremaine Gates, a Calera resident charged with murder of a 3-month-old boy, was denied bond during a motion hearing Dec. 17.

Gates was arrested and charged Aug. 30. On Aug. 25, he was looking after the victim and allegedly “slammed (the child) into the corner of the wall and threw (him) to the hard floor of the residence,” court documents stated.

Tremaine Gates.

The child’s mother returned to the residence and found the child acting “extremely lethargic,” court documents stated. The child was taken to Children’s Hospital, where he passed away Sept. 11.

Prior to Circuit Judge Bill Bostick’s decision to deny bond, prosecutor Allison Boyd with the District Attorney’s office said prosecution will seek the death penalty.

During the hearing, Bostick reviewed written testimonials addressing Gates’ character. Bostick referenced letters from a counselor and teacher at Chilton County High School, where Gates was a student from 2002-2006.

“With an abundance of caution, I’m going to assume (what is written still) applies to present day,” Bostick said.

Another letter, written Dec. 10, 2012, called Gates an “honest, hardworking and caring young man,” Bostick read.

Bostick explained that during a trial, a defendant is considered innocent until proven guilty, but during the hearing, the “defendant must overcome the presumption of guilt to be released on bail.”

Bostick said the allegations against Gates had “not been sufficiently addressed” by the defense and denied the request for bail. Gates will be held without bail pending further action by the court.

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