Man gets prison for having gun linked to July shootings

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) – A convicted drug dealer whose gun was used in a fatal Muskegon shooting last summer was sentenced to nine years in federal prison.

A 9mm semi-automatic handgun belonging to Dashawn Lamarr Bates was used in the July 9 shootout on Monroe Avenue between 5th and 6th streets that killed one man and critically injured a bystander.

Bates, 33, pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm based on two previous drug convictions in Muskegon County. He was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Court Judge Robert Holmes Bell in Grand Rapids.

Alexis Brown, 27, died from a single gunshot to his back that severed his spine. Carmesha Rogers, 27, a mother of two young children, was hit by a stray bullet. She was trying to get her children out of harm's way when the bullet struck Rogers in the head, lodging behind her eyebrow. She has since recovered.

Rogers' house, a house across the street and three parked cars were riddled with bullets fired from a 9mm handgun and a .40 caliber handgun.

Prior to the shootout, Bates and at least eight young men were on the street arguing, court records show. Bates is seen taking an item from his waistband and handing it to Brown before a fistfight ensues, court records show.

"Brown points the handguns at the individuals who are fighting with Bates, at which point Brown is shot in the back, falling to the ground,'' ATF Agent James Walsh wrote in the criminal complaint.

One of those involved admitted that after the shooting, he took the two guns to Brown's house located a few doors from where Brown died. Officers found the guns wrapped in foil and soaking in Lysol.

A day after the shooting, Bates admitted that he possessed the KelTec 9mm pistol just prior to the shootings.

The court is recommending that Bates receive educational and automotive training opportunities while in prison.


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