Alabama mother whose 6-month-old baby was found in motel freezer with meth in his system gets 99 years

An Alabama mother has been sentenced to 99 years in prison after her six-month-old baby was found dead in a freezer at a hotel. The mother pled guilty to charges of manslaughter, abuse of a corpse, and chemical endangerment. The six-month-old was found to have ingested methamphetamine and the mother was also charged with exposing her teenage daughter to drugs.

Amanda Gail Oakes pled guilty to the charges on the third day of her trial on Wednesday, August 28, and was offered a plea deal after she agreed to testify against her ex-boyfriend Carlton James Mathis, 28. His trial is set for November. 

The baby, identified as Carlton James Oakes, was with Mathis when he died, the district attorney told the court. Oakes was, however, involved in hiding the body of the child in the freezer. The remains of the child were found in June 2018.

The couple had been on the run last year after the authorities wanted to arrest Mathis in relation to a burglary and parole violation charges, according to WSFA.

They had fled to Florida and had taken the baby with them and were staying at a local motel named Intown Suites.

According to the authorities, when the mother had gone to Georgia to get their teenage daughter, Mathis had called Oakes and told her the baby was dead. When the two returned to the motel, they spent the night with the baby’s dead body. Oakes also admitted that both of them had been on drugs at the time.

The couple eventually put the body in the freezer at the motel and left. It is believed that the remains had been sitting in the freezer for five to six days and were discovered after the smell became unbearable.

Amanda Gail Oakes pled guilty to the charges on the third day of her trial on Wednesday and was offered a deal after she agreed to testify against her ex-boyfriend Carlton James Mathis, 28. His trial is set for November. (Dothan Police Department)

The Houston County District Attorney said the couple were captured following a shootout in Florida on June 4, 2018. Their teenage daughter was present during the shootout and sustained a minor injury, he said. Mathis was reportedly shot four times by a SWAT team member and was later apprehended.

However, in an interview in January 2019, Mathis’ mother Kim Cleveland said that the child’s death had been accidental.

“My son is not a monster and it’s time the truth was told. CJ loved his son,” Cleveland said. “That baby was his world. This was an accident. Yes, both CJ and Amanda Oakes were high on methamphetamine, but CJ would never hurt his son. It was an accident. CJ has told me, and he has told law enforcement this was an accident. I don’t know why they were on drugs, but my son did not hurt his son, and he did not put him in the freezer.”

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