A mother has pleaded not guilty to charges related to the death of her 6-month-old son, whose body she allegedly put in the freezer of an Alabama motel room last summer after the stench became unbearable.
Amanda Gail Oakes, 36, waived her arraignment on charges of manslaughter, corpse abuse, felony chemical endangerment of a child and pleaded not guilty on Monday, according to The Dothan Eagle, a publication located in Dothan, Alabama. She is scheduled to face trial on March 4.
Oakes’ son, Curtis James Oakes, was discovered at a motel in Dothan in June of last year, following the arrest of Oakes and her boyfriend, Carlton James Mathis, both of Georgia.
Police were tipped off about the dead baby, and the couple was approached in Bronson, Florida. Instead of chatting with law enforcement, Mathis allegedly pulled out a gun and a dramatic armed confrontation with police ensued, according to a 2018 press release from the Dothan Police Department. Mathis was shot four times by a SWAT Team member, but survived.
While they were in custody, the couple told investigators they stayed at an InTown Suites in Dothan, where the body was discovered.
Law enforcement believes the baby died while being cared for by Mathis, the Associated Press reports. Although it is not immediately clear how investigators think the child died, Dorian Police noted that it is “believed that the child was deceased prior to being placed in the freezer” and that “foul play is suspected in the child’s death.”
Oakes allegedly put the body of the boy into the motel freezer to curtail the smell of decay.
“It appears the infant was in the freezer for approximately 5 or 6 days,” the Dothan Police noted last year. At the time, police expected both Mathis and Oakes to be charged with murder.
It is not immediately clear when Mathis will face trial.
[Photo: Dothan Police Department]
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