Brook man charged in hit-and-run death

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, March 23, 2004

CRYSTAL SPRINGS — A Brookhaven man has been charged withculpable negligence manslaughter following a hit-and-run accidenthere Sunday night that led to the death of an 18-month-oldgirl.

Treves Bates, 27, of 310 Ash St., Brookhaven, was charged afterhe turned himself in to authorities later Sunday night, accordingto Crystal Springs Police Detective Chris Palmer. He was releasedMonday morning on an $8,000 bond.

Tavarinesha Murray, 18 months, died within two hours of theaccident at Hardy Wilson Memorial Hospital in Hazlehurst, he said.She was the daughter of Antrameka Murray and TravalasCatchings.

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According to witness reports, Palmer said, Bates had entered adead end street and was using a driveway to turn around when thetoddler wandered into his path.

Bates was backing out of the driveway in his Ford Explorer andsaid he never saw the child, Palmer said.

Bates appeared unaware of the incident until the detective spoketo him on the telephone later that night, Palmer said. During thetelephone conversation, Bates agreed to meet Palmer at theBrookhaven Police Department to turn himself in.

“He was, to my knowledge, unaware he had even hit the childuntil we confronted him with the issue,” Palmer said. “He took itpretty hard.”

The detective disputed claims made by the toddler’s grandmotherto television media that she beat on the vehicle and screamed atBates to stop.

“It’s been said, but we haven’t found that to be true,” Palmersaid, citing an eyewitness report of the incident by the toddler’saunt.