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Case of serial killer Robert Yates heading back to state Supreme Court

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Robert Lee Yates

SPOKANE, Wash. — The case of Spokane serial killer Robert Yates is heading back to the state Supreme Court, but it’s unlikely he’ll ever be a free man.

Yates is asking the high court to grant him a new sentencing hearing for two murders he committed in 1975.

He contends the consecutive 20-year sentences were calculated incorrectly, because the two murders occurred before the state revised its sentencing guidelines in 1981.

The Spokesman-Review says that is the same argument he made in 2014, when the court ruled he was technically correct. But the court said that doesn’t mean Yates can have those cases thrown out.

Yates in 2000 pleaded guilty to 13 counts of aggravated murder and one count of attempted murder in Spokane County Superior Court. He’s also on death row from two convictions in Pierce County.