APNewsBreak: Man shot mayor who backed his parole

June 16, 2011 - 2:13 PM

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Authorities say a convicted killer who was out on parole shot and critically wounding a northern Arkansas mayor who wrote a letter in support of his release from prison.

Records obtained by The Associated Press show that Everton Mayor Bill Gerdes (JERR'-duss) wrote that he'd have no problem with Justin Bates returning to the northern Arkansas town if he were released from prison.

Gerdes was shot in the back and the left hand on Wednesday evening outside the home of Bates' father. Gerdes is in critical condition at a Springfield, Mo., hospital.

Officials arrested the 35-year-old Bates after an hours-long standoff at the house.

Bates was convicted of second-degree murder and served time in the state's prisons until he was paroled last year.