A Tucson man who is facing murder charges in his wife's November shooting death has been arrested in connection with the killing of his cellmate officials said.

King Yates, 23, was arrested Nov. 21 after his wife was shot to death at a friend's apartment the night before and he left the scene. Police found him hiding in a vacant house the next day and arrested him on charges of first-degree murder, prohibited possession of a firearm and burglary.

While conducting Pima County jail inmate welfare checks at about 10 a.m. Wednesday, corrections officers discovered Yates' cellmate, 24-year-old Branden Roth with obvious signs of trauma. Jail medical staff and Tucson Fire department medics rendered first aid, but Roth was pronounced deceased at the scene, according to a post on the Pima County Sheriff Department's Facebook page.

Homicide detectives arrested Yates for first-degree murder in connection with Roth's death.

Additional details will be released as they become available.

Yates' trial in the death of his wife, Cassandra, is scheduled to begin June 6.

Contact reporter Caitlin Schmidt at cschmidt@tucson.com or 573-4191


I'm a government watchdog reporter, covering public safety policy and family issues.