LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Las Vegas man accused of his second fatal DUI had his driver’s license revoked this summer, but the Department of Motor Vehicles did not process the paperwork until six days after police said he killed a man while driving high on drugs, again.
Prentiss Bates, 50, is accused of driving a car under the influence on Sept. 22. Bates slammed into the front of a parked car, killing its driver, Demarr Sims, 40, of Las Vegas, police said. The crash happened in a construction zone around 2 a.m. near Rancho Drive and Craig Road in the northwest valley.
As the 8 News Now Investigators first reported, the crash marked Bates’ second fatal DUI charge.
“This case is the perfect storm of just about every single failure of our criminal justice system combined into one messy package of a dumpster fire,” prosecutor Noreen DeMonte said Thursday.
Bates had pleaded guilty to a charge of driving under the influence of a controlled substance resulting in death in 2013. Bates was driving a car in November 2012 when he crashed into a motorcycle, killing its rider, Jim Burchette, 58, records said.
Prosecutors said Bates was high on PCP at the time of the 2012 crash, records showed. The car he was driving was rented to another person.
A judge sentenced Bates to 8-to-20 years in prison. The judge also ordered an interlock device be placed on his car for a minimum of 3 years following his release.
Bates picked up another DUI charge on June 30, records showed. A judge released him on $50,000 bail in July pending the filing of a criminal complaint. It is standard for judges to release a defendant on bail when a complaint is not immediately filed. The judge also ordered him not to drive.
Records the 8 News Now Investigators reviewed showed the Nevada Parole Board granted Bates parole in November 2020. He was not ordered to be under the supervision of probation.
“I made a bad, terrible decision for choosing to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence,” Bates told the board in his August 2020 hearing.
During the hearing, a parole board member noted Bates did not attend any substance misuse treatment while in custody.
“And in your history, a lot of drug and alcohol offenses,” the parole member said in the hearing.
“The man standing in front of you today has changed immensely,” Bates told the board.
But prosecutors say Bates did not change.
Following his June DUI charge, a process was set in motion to revoke his driver’s license due to his prior felony DUI charge. The Nevada DMV did not receive that request until Aug. 22, the 8 News Now Investigators confirmed.
The manual process can be delayed several weeks as police await blood results. The Nevada DMV processed Bates’ revocation notice on Sept. 28, six days after police arrested him on his second fatal DUI charge, a spokesperson confirmed.
“Failure. Utter and complete failure,” DeMonte said.
While a judge ordered Bates not to drive, DeMonte said had the revocation’s processing happened earlier, Bates likely would not have been able to rent a car. It was unclear Thursday if the company Bates rented the car from had access to electronic records.
“Sure, he would have had that little card in his hand, but if somebody goes to run that — a rental car company, maybe pulled over by an officer — it’s going to show up as revoked,” DeMonte said.
Due to his arrest following a felony DUI conviction, Bates is behind held in jail without bail.