Jarvis Rondale Gates, 39, was sentenced May 6, to life in prison plus 17-and-a-half years for the October 2019 murder of 32-year-old Rotasha Pryor-Thomas in Lakewood. Pryor-Thomas was found dead in a …
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Jarvis Rondale Gates, 39, was sentenced May 6, to life in prison plus 17-and-a-half years for the October 2019 murder of 32-year-old Rotasha Pryor-Thomas in Lakewood.
Pryor-Thomas was found dead in a bathtub with the water still running and overflowing onto the floor at the Chalet Motel on West Alameda.
According to a statement by the Jefferson County District Attorney’s office, Pryor-Thomas died of asphyxiation.
DNA evidence, fingerprints, cell phone mapping, and motel surveillance footage all played a role in the investigation, leading to the arrest of Gates on Nov. 5, 2019.
On April 29, Gates was convicted by a Jefferson County jury of First-Degree Murder – After Deliberation; First-Degree Murder – Felony Murder; Second-Degree Kidnapping; and Tampering with Physical Evidence.
At sentencing, Senior Deputy District Attorney Tyra Forbes told the court, “It is important for the court to know that Mr. Gates does not appear before us as a first-time felon, or a first-time domestic violence offender.”
In 2015, Gates received probation and was required to complete domestic violence treatment for a crime the DA’s statement described as “eerily similar to what happened to Ms. Pryor-Thomas.”
Family members addressed the court at sentencing, speaking of Pryor-Thomas as a mother, daughter, granddaughter, and niece. Tamika Galloway, Pryor-Tomas’ aunt described her as “The light of our family.”
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