Columbus man found guilty in 2019 accidental shooting could face 20 years

Published: Jan. 10, 2023 at 6:49 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - “Today was the verdict that we have been waiting for.”

29-year-old Anthony Gates is now behind bars facing over 20 years in prison, after being found guilty on three out of the eight charges against him.

Back in October 2019, Trilisha Williams’ 6-year-old son accidentally shot her. The 6-year-old was reportedly aiming for his mom’s boyfriend, Anthony Gates, during a fight between the two. Williams Aunt Latrice Williams says she is happy with the verdict.

“I’m glad my niece is finally getting justice,” said Latrice William, the victim’s aunt.

Roberta Robinson, Anthony Gates’ defense attorney, still believes in Gates’ defense. Robinson says she thinks they presented an excellent case.

“This was a case where the facts appeared to be very clear cut, and we showed otherwise. The jury had been deliberating since Friday, and so I think that shows a lot About the posture of this case,” said Robinson.

Latrice Williams says she wants Gates to do time for the crime. She says her niece Trilisha has a new outlook on life now.

“Her life is forever changed. You’ve been out for three years. She’s still trying to readjust to her new life, so he’s going to get out. He’s gonna be able to still walk around and do him. She can’t do her. She has to have people to help her,” said Latrice Williams.

Gates could face a maximum of 20 years in prison based on the three guilty charges. However, Robinson says Gates will undergo specific procedures before sentencing.

“And so, the court has ordered what’s called a pre-sentencing report which is a process where before the judge imposed the sentence, he asked that an investigation be conducted into Mr. Gates’ background,” said Robinson.

There is no word yet on how long it will take to conduct the pre-sentencing report.