WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A former officer with the Wichita Falls Police Department who was the suspect in multiple standoffs in the spring of 2023 was sentenced for violating a protective order more than once in less than a year.
Benjamin Joe Bates, 31, of Wichita Falls, pleaded guilty to one of the two pending charges against him for violating a protective order two or more times within 12 months. As a part of the plea deal, the other charge was dismissed.
Bates was given a 10-year prison sentence that was then suspended to five years of community supervision and 160 hours of community service that will begin after undergoing treatment at a Texas Intermediate Sanction Facility.
Upon release from the ISF, Bates will be required to attend counseling appointments. He will also be prohibited from going within 1,000 feet of the residence or place of employment of the woman who filed a protective order against him.
Bates will also be required to wear a GPS monitor to ensure compliance.
Bates waived his right to early termination of his sentence, meaning he will be required to serve the full five years. 30th District Court Judge Jeff McKnight said there will be zero tolerance for any violations of the conditions of his sentence.
Bates was involved in a standoff in Iowa Park on April 30, 2023, an incident that Wichita County Sheriff David Duke said was the longest he has been involved in.
Dozens of officers from several agencies were involved and several streets were blocked until Bates, who officers said was holding a firearm, was taken in custody at his property on Texowa Street after almost 24 hours.
Then on May 18, 2023, Wichita Falls police were involved in a shorter standoff at a home on Sawmill Lane near Southwest Parkway and Bridge Creek. That one ended just as the SWAT team arrived.
In both cases, officers said the individual was threatening suicide.
Bates was charged with violation of a protective order after the Iowa Park standoff when authorities said he sent 18 messages and made three calls to the woman he was prohibited from contacting.
Officers said he threatened to commit suicide multiple times, saying in one message he was going to cut his “brachial artery” and bleed out.
A second violation was filed on May 18, 2023, the day of the standoff with police on Sawmill. Police said he sent numerous messages to the woman and the two girls that he loved them, and would be “watching from up above.”
This is a developing story. Stick with Texoma’s Homepage for updates as more information becomes available.