Nicholas Cates was sixteen years old when he wanted to know what it felt like to kill someone. According to police Nicholas Cates would shoot and kill a sixty year old woman just to see what it felt like. This teen killer would soon be arrested, plead guilty and eventually be sentenced to fifty years in prison. Due to the cold blooded actions the Virginian judge sentenced the teen to the max.
Nicholas Cates 2020 Information
- Nicholas Isaiah Cates
- Alias: Not Available
- Age/Race/Sex 21/Black/Male
- Offender I.D.#1887309
- Location River North Correctional Center
- Release Date 05/28/2060
Nicholas Cates More News
A teen who admitted gunning down a 60-year-old Virginia Beach woman last December because he wanted to “take a life” was sentenced Wednesday to 50 years in prison.
“This was an utter act of senseless violence. Cold-blooded murder,” Circuit Judge James Lewis told Nicholas Cates .
To the family of Christine Bender, the judge said, “I’m not sure it’s possible I can do justice for you.”
The sentence far exceeded state sentencing guidelines, which suggested a term between 23 and 39 years. The guidelines take into account a defendant’s past criminal history, and Cates had never been convicted of a crime before.
The 18-year-old pleaded guilty in July to first-degree murder and illegal use of a handgun for shooting Bender outside her home. He also pleaded to being an accessory after the fact for another random killing that occurred just 30 hours before Bender was shot.
Each of Christine Bender’s three adult daughters read statements to the judge.
The women described their mother as kind, loving, giving, funny and a great storyteller. They had planned to go to New York for a girl’s trip on Dec. 8. Instead, they cremated their mother’s body that day.
Elizabeth Stevens, Bender’s oldest daughter, was there the night her mother was killed. She ran outside after hearing the shots. Her stepfather was already outside and asked her to go back inside and get a blanket.
It wasn’t until she got back that she realized it was her mother who had been struck.
“I told her, ‘I need you to be strong, mom,’ ” Stevens said. “Then I saw the light die in her eyes.”
Bender’s death came in the middle of a week of random shootings in the city that began in late November and ended on Dec. 7. Two people died, and three were injured.
The shootings started with houses near Holland Road being fired at. No one was inside any of them and no one was injured.
That changed on Dec. 2 when Cates and his friend Angelo Worlds drove to a mobile home park, also off of Holland Road. Both were 17 at the time.
Zacarias Aguilar-Ayala had just finished working on a home there that he was helping to remodel and was preparing to drive home when Worlds and Cates drove up in front of his car.
Worlds got out and, using Cates’ gun, shot Aguilar-Ayala several times through the window of his car, according to prosecutors. Aguilar-Ayala died at the scene.
About 30 hours later, Cates and his friend Maurice Boney Jr. were driving around the Chimney Hill neighborhood, looking for a “life to take.” When Cates saw Bender smoking a cigarette outside of her home, he told his friend, “She’s the one.”
Cates asked to borrow the woman’s lighter, returned it, then fired several times at her back as she turned to walk away. Five bullets hit her.
“After all her struggles, after giving so much of herself to her family, instead of dying peacefully of old age, she was hunted down like an animal,” Stevens said. “She was shot and left to die. On the street. In the cold. Alone.”
Sarah Johnson, the youngest of Bender’s daughters, said it was not surprising that her mother’s final act was one of kindness: offering to share her lighter.
“She was nice to him,” Johnson said. “And he put five bullets in her back to say ‘Thank you.’
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