A 43-year-old convicted felon jailed since September on a robbery charge is now facing one count of second-degree murder.
James Edward Bates is being held without bond at the Manatee County Jail in connection with the August 30th, 2012 death of Michael J. Blue.
According to a Palmetto Police Department report the body of the deceased was discovered among some mangroves along the east side of the DeSoto Bridge. Detectives determined that Blue had been robbed.
Bates was arrested and charged with the crime a few days later. Blue's remains were sent to the medical examiner's office to determine the exact cause of death.
Earlier this month the ME ruled Blue, 32, died from strangulation. Based on that information the charges against Bates were upgraded to include homicide.
The suspect is no stranger to law enforcement. Bates has served three stints in the state prison system for convictions out of Palm Beach County.
His prior arrests include false imprisonment, robbery, grand theft, burglary and trafficking in stolen property.
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