Murder conviction of man who stabbed gas station clerk upheld

Nicole Gates and Shawn Pike

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — The Michigan Court of Appeals has upheld the murder conviction of a man who stabbed a Battle Creek gas station worker to death.

Shawn Pike is serving a mandatory life sentence for the July 2014 murder of 27-year-old Nicole Gates.

Gates was working at a Citgo gas station when Pike stabbed her more than 80 times.

Pike planned to rob the gas station convenience store and knew Gates, who was working around closing time.

Pike claimed Gates was in on the heist, and he snapped when she backed out and tried to call the police.

His lawyer argued it wasn’t murder, but instead was voluntary manslaughter, a charge that carries a much shorter prison sentence.

Calhoun County Judge Conrad Sindt refused to instruct the jury to consider the manslaughter alternative, instead giving them the option to convict Pike of first or second-degree murder.

The jury found Pike guilty of first-degree murder in February 2015 after deliberating for only 12 minutes. Pike then appealed his conviction based on the jury instructions.

In an unanimous decision on Wednesday, the Michigan Court of Appeals upheld the conviction saying the evidence presented didn’t support manslaughter.

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