Bartlett man pleads guilty in wife's death - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Bartlett man pleads guilty in wife's death

Micah Pate Micah Pate
Thomas Pate Thomas Pate

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A Bartlett man accused of shooting his wife pleaded guilty late Monday afternoon.

Thomas Pate was accused of killing his wife, Micah, in April of 2009. When he first reported her missing, Pate told police his wife went on an evening walk on the night of April 30, but never returned home.

The next day, Pate admitted that he shot his wife and left her body near the Loosahatchie River.

Monday - the day jury selection was scheduled to begin in Pate's trial - he pleaded guilty to second degree murder.  Defense attorney Leslie Ballin said he and Pate discussed the case all morning, and shortly after lunch initiated renewed negotiations with the prosecution.

"It was a difficult decision for Thomas Pate to make," Ballin said. "It was a difficult decision for Micah's parents to have input as far as what they would like to see in terms of a resolution. There are no winners in a case like this."

Pate had to briefly take the stand to tell the judge that he understood his rights.  As part of his plea, he cannot appeal. He will spend 25 years in prison.

Micah Pate's father, Dennis Rine, said he was pleased with the decision.

"I need forgiveness because I know I'm a sinner," he said. "So I pray for Thomas and his family as well, and I need that so I can see Micah again someday."

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