LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Las Vegas man accused of his second fatal DUI had a valid driver’s license, was able to rent a car, and was high on PCP and marijuana at the time of his most-recent crash, prosecutors said Tuesday.
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.
Sims was working as a construction flagger for workers in the area, documents said. Officers found Bates in the driver’s seat of the rented car, which was backed up into a palm tree. Bates was nodding his head to music after the “violent” crash, police said.
As the 8 News Now Investigators first reported Thursday, the crash marked Bates’ second fatal DUI charge.
Bates told officers he was on his way home from a friend’s house, where he had used marijuana and drank a can of beer, documents said. When an officer asked Bates if he had been involved in the collision, Bates responded that “he didn’t know,” officers said.
While being booked into the Clark County Detention Center on Thursday morning, Bates told an officer, “I f—ed up again,” police said.
“This is the first time I have prosecuted someone personally for taking a life and had them come back having taken another life in exactly the same way,” prosecutor Eric Bauman said Tuesday. “People should be frightened by the fact that people like Prentiss Bates are driving around on the same roads they are on with valid driver’s licenses. That just should not be.”
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 show Bates failed to appear at an August hearing and a warrant was issued for his arrest. A hearing happened in August, but it was unclear if Bates appeared or if an attorney appeared on his behalf. Bates remained out on bond pending a hearing in November — until his arrest Thursday.
Bates’ attorney, Michael Castillo, asked Judge Ann Zimmerman to set Bates’ bail at $50,000. Due to his arrest following a felony DUI conviction, Zimmerman ordered Bates to be held without bail.
8 News Now has reached out to the Department of Motor Vehicles for clarification.