Originally created 07/20/00

Lawyer seeks entry of polygraph results



An attorney representing an Augusta man facing a death penalty trial wants to introduce the results of a polygraph test he contends prove Keane A. Bates had nothing to do with a November 1995 double homicide.

Mr. Bates is one of four people accused in the Nov. 4, 1995, slayings of Rhonda Warren, 28, and Timothy Hale, 23. The prosecutor has filed notice in Richmond County Superior Court that he intends to seek the death penalty if Mr. Bates or two others accused are be convicted of murder.

Mr. Bates, 36, Katherine M. Conway, 29, and Richard S. Breedlove, 48, face capital murder charges in the double homicide, allegedly a murder-for-hire plot, according to court documents.

Mr. Bates' attorney Richard Allen filed notice last week that he intends to present testimony and evidence of Mr. Bates' polygraph examination at his client's trial.

Mr. Bates, according to the court document, took a polygraph examination May 18, 1999, administered by the polygraph examiner who cleared Richard Jewell in the Atlanta Olympic bombing case. According to the examiner, Mr. Bates' test results reflected no deception in his answers.

According to Mr. Allen's notice, Mr. Bates answered "no" to each of the following questions: "Were you present in the trailer the night when Tim and Rhonda were shot? Did you shoot at either Tim or Rhonda that night in the trailer? Were you aware that Doc (Mr. Breedlove) planned to shoot Tim when you paid him that night?"

The results of polygraph examinations generally are not admissible at trial in state or federal courts unless both sides agree to the introduction. Mr. Allen, in his court document, contends the results also can be used to corroborate a witness's testimony.

"The prosecution can test this (Mr. Bates' polygraph) reliability, not only by cross-examination, but by having its own polygraph examiner administer a test to this defendant. .ƒ.ƒ. It would seem that a prosecutor honestly and diligently seeking the truth would jump at this opportunity," Mr. Allen wrote.

District Attorney Danny Craig said Tuesday he could not comment on a pending death penalty case.

Ms. Warren and Mr. Hale were shot to death at Mr. Hale's Eidson Drive home. Sheriff investigators say Mr. Hale was the target of a contract killing and Ms. Warren was shot because she was with him that night. In addition to murder charges, Mr. Bates, Ms. Conway and Mr. Breedlove are charged in the burglary of Mr. Hale's home.

Mr. Bates' father, David A. Bates, 58, also faces murder charges in Ms. Warren's and Mr. Hale's death, but he does not face a possible death penalty. His attorney already has announced he will plead guilty.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or shodson@augustachronicle.com.