Bates trial begins

With the final selection of the jury Tuesday, Sept. 12, the murder trial against David Richard Bates is underway.

Kicking off the estimated two-week trial, deputy district attorney David Evans and public defender Autumn Paine addressed the jury of 14, nine men and five women, with opening statements, detailing the various aspects of the trial to come. Visiting judge Candace J. Beason was overseeing the trial.

Bates was arrested and charged in connection with the May 25, 2016 killing of Michael Hubbard at Whispering Pines off of Highway 36.

Bates was held to answer for the shooting of Hubbard after the preliminary hearing last September.

However, in the opening statements made by both the prosecution and defense, each side introduced the jury to the direction the two sides intended to prove during the multi-week trial.
Evans started off describing the incident as the prosecution sees it: Bates allegedly took a gun, pointed at the back of Hubbard’s head and killed him.

Evans described how he will show the jury how the confrontation started when Whispering Pines owner Dwight Bennett got a group together to force Hubbard and his uncle Randy Williamson away from Whispering Pines, as they were allegedly squatting on the property.

Evans continued to describe how Hubbard arrived at the property after his uncle called him, and the following violence where Bates shot Hubbard.

However, defense attorney Paine explained to the jury how she planned to show the incident in a different light, emphasizing the phrase Bennett first said when he called 911 – “The man who got shot pulled the gun.”

In her opening statement, Paine focused on Hubbard’s toxicology report, which allegedly showed he had 1,200 milligrams of methamphetamine in his system.

She described how the defense will show that the confrontation between Bennett’s group, which included Bates, against Hubbard and Williamson was different than how some witnesses claimed.
“You’re going to learn how David Bates wrestled Michael Hubbard for that gun,” she told the jury, directing them to pay close attention to witness statements and forensic evidence.

The jury then heard from the first witness Lassen County Sheriff’s deputy Sean Moore.

The trial is expected to continue through this week, with various other witnesses to the event and a
forensic expert.