PALMETTO -- James E. Bates, 43, was found guilty of first-degree murder and robbery after a three-day trial concluded last Wednesday.
The Palmetto Police Department reported the body of Michael J. Blue, 32, was found Aug. 30, 2012, in the mangroves on the east side of the DeSoto Bridge.
Palmetto police investigators concluded Blue was the victim of robbery and murder and charged Bates. Bates has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole, according to a release by Deputy Chief Scott Tyler of the Palmetto Police Department.