Prosecutors will attempt to hold a Georgia mother criminally responsible for the death of her 6-month-old son, who was found in an Alabama hotel freezer earlier this month.
The body of Carlton James Oakes was in the freezer 5 or 6 days before it was found by investigators, according to police in Dothan, Ala.
Police announced Monday that Amanda Gail Oakes, 36, of Murrayville, is now charged with manslaughter in her son’s death.
Oakes was previously charged with abuse of a corpse when Florida authorities caught up with her and Carlton James Mathis on June 4. Police say the 28-year-old Gainesville, Ga., man is the baby’s father.
Mathis was shot four times by Florida SWAT officers after he allegedly tried to run from authorities outside an apartment in Bronson, Fla., about 25 miles southwest of Gainesville, Fla. Authorities said Mathis was armed at the time.
Their arrests marked the end of a multistate manhunt that began in Hall County on June 1, when sheriff’s deputies got a tip the couple was staying in the Dothan area and it was possible their son was dead.
Once in police custody, Mathis and Oakes provided investigators with information that led them back to the InTown Suites in Dothan, and the baby’s body was discovered.
Mathis was also charged with abuse of a corpse. Dothan police Lt. Lynn Watkins said that while additional charges are expected for Mathis, he is still being held in a Florida jail on a number of charges stemming from his arrest.
A Levy County, Fla., judge set Mathis’ bond at $1 million on charges of assault, drug possession, weapon possession by a convicted felon and child neglect.
Watkins said it will be up to a judge to decide if Mathis will be extradited to Alabama or if his Florida charges will be disposed first. Authorities in Houston County, Ala., are still waiting on the 6-month-old’s official autopsy report. They have not released the baby’s cause of death.
Until then, Dothan police have placed a hold on Mathis. Oakes’ criminal proceedings will move forward.
“Fortunately,” Watkins said, “time is on our side.”
In addition to his charges in Alabama and Florida, Mathis is also a person of interest in a gas station robbery, Hall County sheriff’s deputies told Channel 2 Action News. He is wanted there for allegedly violating his probation, officials said.
Oakes is being held in the Houston County Jail without bond on the manslaughter charge.
—Please return to AJC.com for updates.
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