A judge has sentenced a former Army specialist to time served on a charge that he lied to a Savannah-Chatham police detective during the investigation into the 2014 slaying of a North Carolina man whose body was found in Georgetown.
Chatham County Superior Court Judge Louisa Abbot imposed the 260-day jail sentence on Friday for Bradley Bates, the final defendant in the Dec. 24, 2015, slaying of William Whitsett, 21, of Spruce Pine, N.C. Bates has been free on bond as his motions proceeded.
“He has completed that sentence,” Abbot said.
Since she imposed the term under the state’s First Offender Act, there is no adjudication of guilt for Bates. He will be completely exonerated and his record will remain clean.
In a related matter, Abbot on Friday granted a motion by Bates’ attorney, Alex Zipperer, and directed that Bates’ cell phone, which was taken as part of the criminal investigation, be returned to him and that the discs containing personal information be sealed from public disclosure.
“Mr. Bates did, in fact, admit he had been untruthful,” Abbot said.