Three people accused of taking part in a double homicide nearly five years ago could face death if convicted.
On Monday, District Attorney Danny Craig filed written notice that he will seek the death penalty if Keane A. Bates, 37; Katherine M. Conway, 28; and Richard S. Breedlove, 48, are convicted of murder in the slayings of Timothy Hale, 23, and Rhonda Warren, 28, on Nov. 4, 1995.
In the notice filed in Richmond County Superior Court, Mr. Craig listed seven aggravating circumstances that qualify this case for the death penalty: the slayings of Mr. Hale and Ms. Warren were committed during the commission of burglary; Ms. Warren was killed during the commission of Mr. Hale's slaying; both killings were committed to receive money or something of value; and both killings were "outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible or inhuman."
A jury needs to find at least one aggravated circumstance before it can consider the imposition of the death penalty or life in prison without parole.
Mr. Bates, Ms. Conway and Mr. Breedlove have pleaded not guilty to all charges. A fourth man, David A. Bates, 58, Keane Bates' father, also faces murder charges but will not face capital murder charges.
The four were indicted in November 1998 on the third anniversary of Mr. Hale's and Ms. Warren's slayings. The couple was killed at Mr. Hale's Eidson Drive home.
Investigators say Mr. Hale, who had broken off a romantic relationship with Ms. Conway, was the intended target but Ms. Warren was killed, too, because she was with Mr. Hale the night of Nov. 4, 1995. Both were shot.
Investigators reported in 1998 that David Bates agreed to find someone to kill Mr. Hale and hired Mr. Breedlove to be the triggerman.
The case has been delayed in part because Mr. Breedlove had been in a Florida jail awaiting trial on unrelated charges of assault and child molestation. Florida officials agreed to allow Mr. Breedlove's return to Augusta last fall.
Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 firstname.lastname@example.org.