Man convicted of murdering woman in Lakewood motel

A Jefferson County jury convicted a 39-year-old man on Thursday of murdering a woman in a Lakewood hotel room in 2019.

Jarvis Gates was found guilty of first-degree murder after deliberation, first-degree felony murder, second-degree kidnapping and tampering with physical evidence, according to a news release from the First Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Gates murdered Rotasha Pryor-Thomas, 32, on Oct. 31, 2019, in the Chalet Hotel on Alameda Avenue, according to the release.

Lakewood police were notified on Nov. 2, 2019, of a death that seemed suspicious. They found Pryor-Thomas’ body in the bathtub with the water running, according to the news release. Investigators later determined that Pryor-Thomas had been strangled.

Police arrested Gates on Nov. 5, 2019.

“The Lakewood Police Department conducted a very thorough investigation that included DNA
evidence, fingerprints, and cell phone mapping,” according to a news release from the district attorney’s office. “Surveillance footage from the motel also played a crucial role in the investigation and trial.”

A judge will sentence Gates on May 5. The mandatory sentence for first-degree murder in Colorado is life without parole.

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