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As detectives sought murder suspect, he was already in jail, police say

Nathaniel Yates faces a murder charge after police say he shot his girlfriend multiple times before getting arrested on unrelated charges  -
Nathaniel Yates faces a murder charge after police say he shot his girlfriend multiple times before getting arrested on unrelated charges -

As detectives were searching for a Florida man who allegedly shot and killed his girlfriend, they found out he was already in jail — but on charges that had nothing to do with the woman’s death, authorities said.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office charged 32-year-old Nathaniel Yates with first-degree murder and aggravated assault Saturday, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office. Meanwhile, officers with the Largo Police Department had arrested Yates the day before in a separate case and charged him with burglary, simple battery, resisting arrest without violence, battery on a law enforcement officer and battery on health service personnel, the release said.

Sheriff’s deputies were called to a home in unincorporated Largo after someone reported an injured person shortly after 11 p.m. Thursday, the release said. When they arrived, they found Christine Giles, 28, unresponsive inside a “travel trailer” near the home. The release said she had been killed after being shot multiple times.

Detectives said in the release that Yates was in the trailer with Giles and another man that night, when police say Yates became “agitated and threatened” the man with a handgun before shooting Giles once.

Yates then fled the trailer, but “returned to the scene a short time later and shot Giles again, multiple times,” the release states.

Authorities say the two were reportedly dating for several months before Giles ended the relationship due to threats of violence. At the time of the shooting, detectives believe the two were back together.

Less than six hours after Giles was shot and killed Thursday night, sheriff’s office detectives learned Yates had already been arrested and charged by Largo police in an “unrelated incident,” the release said.

Detectives with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office continue to investigate the murder, the release said.

The Holly Hill Police Department in Florida released surveillance video from an incident at a Little Caesar's pizza shop where a man wearing a "clown mask" attacked an employee with a wooden board and a pair of scissors as he was leaving work.

Michaela Broyles: 843-626-0281, @MichaelaBroyles

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