Murder Charge Dropped In Bentonville Case Involving Amazon Echo

Prosecutors have dropped a first-degree murder charge against a Bentonville man involving an Amazon Echo.James...

Posted: Nov 30, 2017 7:58 AM
Updated: Nov 30, 2017 7:58 AM

Prosecutors have dropped a first-degree murder charge against a Bentonville man involving an Amazon Echo.

James Andrew Bates, 31, was charged with killing Victor Parris Collins, 47, in November 2015.

Police found Collins' body in Bates' hot tub and a medical examiner ruled there had likely been a fight and Collins died from strangulation and drowning, according to a probable cause affidavit. Collins' body had cuts and bruises and investigators found blood in the hot tub, the affidavit states.

"I feel extremely let down, devastated by the choice was him to nolle prosequi this case," said Kristine Collins, the widow of the victim. It's a difficult case for sure, but it's not one that should've have had an argument made for it. So, now I'm left to go explain to my kids."

Bentonville investigators found the Amazon Echo at Bates' home, investigators requested a search warrant for all the audio recordings and data from the device, according to court records.

Amazon pushed back after investigators requested a search warrant to release the audio recordings, saying "Amazon will not release customer information without a valid and binding legal demand properly served on us." On Feb. 17, the company filed a motion to quash the search warrant.

However, Bates agreed to release the recordings to the state of Arkansas. Bates' attorneys said he agreed to release the recordings because "he is innocent of all charges in the matter."

"It's a very rare thing that somebody was have the integrity to do that," Bates attorney Kathleen Zellner said. "Most prosecutors just push on and try to get a conviction. So, they wanted to make sure that they were actually prosecuting a case that they could prove beyond a reasonable doubt and they concluded they could not."

The Bentonville Police Department said Wednesday (Nov. 29) that they do not agree with the motion to nolle prosequi the case. They said they believe it is important, and in the best interest of justice for the family, that the case be head by a jury.

Article Comments

Terre Haute
Broken Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 73°
Robinson
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 72°
Indianapolis
Broken Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 75°
Rockville
Broken Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 73°
Casey
Overcast
73° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 73°
Brazil
Broken Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 73°
Marshall
Broken Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 73°
Increasing clouds with rain ahead...
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

Lung disease linked to vaping

Image

Big Dog Charity Ride

Image

ISP issues nearly 200 traffic tickets during Diesel Fest

Image

Woman busted with 200 grams of meth and guns

Image

Family pet killed in house fire

Image

Eastern Greene students to return to school Monday

Image

Farmers view fields from above

Image

Sunday: Partly sunny and nice again. High: 79°

Image

eBash hosts Fortnite competition

Image

Friendship House connects people

WTHI Events