Sunday, 20 Jun 2021

Jarvis Rondale Gates sentenced to life in prison for the suffocation death of a woman in a Lakewood motel.

A man convicted of murdering a woman, by asphyxiation, in a Lakewood motel has been sentenced to life in prison.

Jarvis Rondale Gates, 39, a repeat felon and domestic violence perpetrator, murdered 32-year-old Rotasha Pryor-Thomas on Oct. 31, 2019, according to Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office news release.

The body of Pryor-Thomas was found by Lakewood police, in a bathtub with the water running and overflowing onto the floor, at the Chalet Motel on West Alameda Avenue. The Lakewood police investigation of Pryor-Thomas death included DNA evidence, fingerprints, cell phone mapping and motel surveillance footage, according to the release.

Gates was arrested on Nov. 5, 2019, and he was convicted by a jury on April 29, the release said. Gates was sentenced Wednesday by District Court Judge Philip McNulty to an additional 17 1/2 years, to serve consecutively, for convictions of second-degree kidnaping and tampering with physical evidence.

At the sentencing Senior Deputy District Attorney Tyra Forbes told the court about a 2015 criminal conviction, which had similar circumstances to the Pryor-Thomas case, for which Gates was sentenced to probation, according to the release.

“It is important for the court to know that Mr. Gates does not appear before us as a first-time felon, or a first-time domestic violence offender,” Forbes said at the sentencing.

Family members of Pryor-Thomas attended the hearing dressed in purple, her favorite color.

Tamika Galloway, an aunt, said: “Rotasha was the light of our family.”


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