Group home employee accused of murdering patient has criminal history

    (IMAGE: MPD) Group home employee accused of murdering patient has criminal history

    A man accused of murdering a mentally ill patient in a Mobile group home over the weekend has a criminal past, yet he was still able to find work as a caregiver.

    Trent Yates is charged with murdering 21-year-old Matthew Cox at the New Way Out group home in Mobile.

    Yates was a caregiver at the group home where Cox lived. Investigators believe Yates stomped Cox causing his death.

    Yates is now behind bars. His bond has been set at $200,000.

    A search of Yates' criminal history lays out a list of prior arrests dating back to 2010.

    In 2015, the caregiver pled guilty to assault charges with two years of probation.

    "I would think they would do extensive background checks for employees in that situation because they basically have what I understand as 24 hour care," Paul Matthew, a neighbor living near the group home, said.

    NBC 15 is taking a closer look at how this accused murder passed a background check.

    Alabama Department of Mental Health officials tell NBC 15 background checks are required to be conducted by service providers of group homes

    NBC 15 called the corporate office for new way out corporation, the service providers in charge of the group home where cox was killed, someone answered the phone and told us they have no comment at this time before immediately hanging up.

    We also knocked at the doors of the group on Colonial Circle North. Despite several cars parked in the driveway, no one came to the door.

    Sources tell NBC 15 Yates was only employed at this group home for a couple of months before Saturday. We are told he has worked at similar group homes in the past.

    The ADOMH is conducting an investigation of the incident according to department policies and procedures.

    A spokesperson shared the following statement:

    “The Alabama Department of Mental Health is heartbroken over the tragic death of the young man, a resident of a Mobile group home. The department will cooperate with local authorities to investigate and take necessary action to ensure the health and safety of other residents are maintained.”

    Statement from the Cox family

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