BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) - A Bentonville man has been charged with first-degree murder in a Centerton man's strangulation and drowning death in the suspect's hot tub.

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette ( ) reports that 31-year-old James Andrew Bates has been charged in 47-year-old Victor Parris Collins' death Nov. 22.

Bates told police he went to bed at 1 a.m. after he, Collins and another man drank alcohol in his hot tub. Bates said he called police at 9:30 a.m. when he found Collins' body.

Bates' lawyer said a pair of cancelled calls around 1 a.m. and a series of short or cancelled calls around 4 a.m. on Bates' phone were mistakes.

Bentonville Water Utilities officials said 140 gallons of water were used at the house between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m.

Bates is being held at the Benton County Jail on a $350,000 bond.


Information from: Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette,

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