Paulding County

Man accused of killing wife arrested after not showing up to murder trial

Jonathan and Cynde Bates

DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. — A Paulding County man is in custody after failing to show up for his wife’s murder trial where he was the accused killer.

In 2017, Jonathan Bates was charged with the murder of his wife Cynde Bates, 28. He was accused of pushing her, causing her to fall back and hit her head. She died of blunt force trauma.

Their two children, ages 4 and 7, were present when this happened, according to a police report. Her family told Channel 2 Action News that shortly before her death, she was planning to leave her husband after years of domestic violence.

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Chief Judge Tonny Beavers said he did not see enough evidence to find probable cause for murder and cruelty to children, the victim’s family and authorities said. It was later found that Beavers had a connection to Jonathan Bates’ family.

Jonathan Bates was later indicted by a grand jury on a murder charge.

Judge Beaves recused himself from the case in 2022.

Jonathan Bates went on the run in 2022 after not showing up to a court hearing.


Channel 2 Gwinnett County Bureau Chief Matt Johnson, who has covered the case for years, learned that his trial was scheduled to begin on Monday, but he did not show up.

Dawson County deputies and the U.S. Marshals Service arrested Jonathan Bates and charged him with two counts of felony murder, malice murder, aggravated battery, two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of cruelty to children - first degree, two counts of cruelty to children - third degree and battery.

He is currently being held in the Dawson County Jail.

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