April 6, 2009
The initial court appearance of a man accused of murdering his wife has been postponed. George Pate, 56, was scheduled to appear before the Columbus Municipal Court April 2.
Judge Curtis Austin postponed what would have been Pate''s first courtroom appearance after 16th Circuit Judge Jim Kitchens rejected Pate''s request for a court-appointed attorney, in Lowndes County Circuit Court March 25.
Defendants who apply for a court-appointed attorney must prove they cannot afford to pay one themselves.
Kitchens deemed Pate, who worked as a teacher at North West Community College at the time of his arrest, could not prove such.
Pate stands accused of the murder of his wife, Peggy Pate.
Columbus police found Peggy Pate dead in her bedroom at 415 Eighth St. S., on March 11 -- the victim of a gunshot wound.
George Pate was found unconscious, as a result of an overdose, near the victim''s body. He apparently had ingested a cocktail of pharmaceuticals.
A large-caliber handgun was found at the scene.
Pate''s bond has been set at $750,000. He remains at the Lowndes County Adult Detention Center and is scheduled to appear in Municipal Court April 16.
In mid-March, George Pate underwent observation at Baptist Behavioral Health Care-Willowbrook. Pate had been in the health facility for about a week before being released to authorities to be formally charged and transported to jail.
Before being held at the Willowbrook facility, George Pate was treated at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle''s intensive care unit for his drug overdose.
His bond is set at $750,000.