Local man arrested, charged with murder in N.C.

John Harold Bates, 38, of Elizabethton, is being held in North Carolina on a first-degree murder charge according to the Catawba County Sheriff's Department.
   Bates is accused of shooting Dennis O'Dell McKinney, 44, who is also originally from Tennessee. The shooting reportedly occurred at 5 p.m. Saturday in the Turtle Creek Mobile Home Park near Newton, N.C.
   McKinney was reportedly shot several times with a 20-gauge shotgun. Following the shooting, investigating officers said Bates stabbed himself several times with a knife. He was taken to the Catawba Valley Medical Center, where he was treated and placed under a suicide watch. However, he was released from the hospital Monday morning and transported to the Burke County Detention Center, where he is being held without bond.
   McKinney had reportedly moved to North Carolina from Tennessee about seven months ago to find work in a furniture factory. McKinney's wife had reportedly left her husband and returned to Tennessee, where she began dating Bates.
   A family member in Tennessee told the Hickory Daily Record that Bates recently purchased a house for her in Elizabethton. However, the family member said Mrs. McKinney had returned to her husband about two weeks ago in hopes of repairing their marriage.
   The newspaper account said Bates followed Mrs. McKinney to North Carolina and found her husband in the home of his nephew, Johnny McKinney. Witnesses said Bates began to leave when family members threatened to call the police. Johnny McKinney told the Hickory newspaper that Bates opened the door to his truck like he was going and then pulled out a shotgun. He said his uncle ran around the back of the house with Bates chasing him, armed with the shotgun.
   Johnny McKinney said he heard shots and his uncle came back to the front porch holding his neck with blood all over him. The nephew said he saw Bates stab himself several times before falling to the ground.