SABINE COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A Leesville, Louisiana man agreed to a plea bargain deal of 10 years in a Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison for punching his wife after a heated argument and then forcing her to drive to Louisiana at knife point back in April.
According to the copy of the judgment, East Texas News obtained Monday, James Lawrence Bates II pleaded guilty to first-degree aggravated assault with a deadly weapon as part of the plea bargain deal that was reached on Aug. 10. The plea hearing was held in the 273rd Judicial Court in Sabine County, Texas,
Bates received credit for the time he served in the Sabine County Jail from May 3 to Aug. 10.
Deputies with the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office in Louisiana arrested Bates on Aug. 3. Originally, he was charged with two first-degree felonies -aggravated assault-family violence with a deadly weapon and aggravated kidnapping.
According to the arrest affidavit, the victim said that she and Bates, her husband, got into an argument on April 24, and he asked her to take him to a Motel 8 located in Leesville, Louisiana. They loaded Bates' possessions into the car and started down State Highway 87, the affidavit stated.
The woman told authorities that she and Bates continued to argue as they traveled south on SH 87. She said she finally had enough and stopped on the side of the road near Clark Town Road and started unloading Bates' belongings, the affidavit stated.
"[The victim] stated that Bates became very upset and grabbed her and pushed her against the car," the affidavit stated.
At that point, Bates allegedly started punching the victim in the face and head. He hit her so hard that it knocked out one of her front teeth, the affidavit stated.
Bates then grabbed the woman's hair, slung her around, and made her put his possessions back in the vehicle, the affidavit stated. After forcing the victim back into the car, Bates allegedly made her drive him to his destination by holding two knives in a threatening way.
According to the affidavit, the victim told authorities that Bates held a knife to her side all the way to Louisiana. She said that when they got to Leesville, Louisiana, Bates had her pull into an open field across from the motel and threatened her and her family with death if she told anyone, the affidavit stated.