Doniphan man accused of murder pleads guilty in court

Tommy Cates (Source: Doniphan Police Department)
Tommy Cates (Source: Doniphan Police Department)

DONIPHAN, MO (KAIT) – A Doniphan man charged with killing another man in 2009 has pleaded guilty.

According to the Howell County Circuit Clerk's Office, Tommy Cates of Doniphan plead guilty to second degree murder, and armed criminal action Wednesday.

A sentencing hearing has been set for August 2, at 1pm in Howell County.

The case was moved from Ripley County to Howell County in 2010.

Cates is accused of killing 50-year-old Randy Hamilton in August 2009.  Doniphan Police Chief Mark Rodgers said a sign on Hamilton's door warned people not to get too close, but ironically enough police say the shotgun the suspect used, belonged to Hamilton himself.

Chief Rodgers says the two men had been drinking with another man before the shooting. "It was some conflict that had arisen between the two over a third party.  Court papers show Cates told authorities Hamilton reacted arrogantly when he confronted him with the issue.

Court papers also indicate the suspect knew Hamilton had a gun, and that Cates shot Hamilton twice after grabbing the gun.

Cates is set to appear again in court for sentencing on August 2.

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