The trial of a Murrayville woman accused of leaving her dead baby’s body in a motel freezer in Dothan, Alabama, ended suddenly Wednesday when the woman chose to enter a guilty plea to all the charges against her.
Amanda Gail Oakes, 36, was sentenced to 99 years in prison, but received credit for time already served in the Houston County Jail, the Dothan Eagle reported. Oakes had been charged with manslaughter, abuse of a corpse and felony chemical endangerment of a child.
Oakes also agreed to testify against Carlton James Mathis, 28, of Gainesville, who also is charged with murder in the child’s death. Mathis’ trial is scheduled for November.
“I want to thank all the law enforcement officers who investigated this case,” Jones said. “Everyone worked very hard in making sure this case was ready for trial. I also want to thank my assistant district attorney J.T. Jones for his work.
According to Jones, Oakes’ trial affected several people.
“This case has affected a lot of people,” District Attorney Pat Jones told the newspaper. “Oakes’ daughter testified against her own mother Tuesday, and that will affect that child. This case is a prime example of how drugs can ruin someone’s life and aid people in making decisions that hurt so many people.”
The Dothan Eagle reported that prosecutors told the court Oakes left the baby with Mathis while she was on a "drug run" from Georgia to Alabama.
The newspaper said Oakes picked up her daughter in Hall County and then made drug drop-offs as they returned to Alabama, even though she knew the baby had died.
According to Dothan police reports, investigators were told by Oakes that the infant’s body was placed inside the freezer when the smell of decomposition became unbearable, the newspaper reported. Oakes also confirmed that she and Mathis were under the influence of illegal drugs.
Prosecutors also told the court forensic testing found methamphetamine in the infant’s blood.
Read the full story on the Dothan Eagle's website.