A Georgia mother who left her six-month-old son inside a hotel freezer has been sentenced to 99 years in prison.
The Associated Press reports that Amanda Gail Oakes, 36, was given the 99-year sentence after pleading guilty to multiple charges in the death of her 6-month-old son, including manslaughter and corpse abuse.
According to WSFA, investigators found the infant dead in a freezer in an Alabama hotel room in June 2018. Although the baby is believed to have been in the care of his father, Carlton James Mathis, when he died, Oakes is believed to have been involved in the disposal of his body.
Oakes was reportedly about the head into the third day of trial when she made a plea agreement with prosecutors, in exchange for testimony against Mathis, who was caring for the infant when he ingested methamphetamine.
According to the Dothan Eagle, Oakes and Mathis had fled Georgia about a month before the baby was found dead, following an attempt by police to arrest Mathis on charges of violating probation and burglary. The pair reportedly went to a motel in Dothan with the baby, before Oakes returned to Georgia to pick up her teenage daughter. While Oakes was en route, Mathis reportedly called her and told her the infant was dead. She then returned to the hotel with her daughter, and spent the night with the baby’s dead body in the freezer.
Oakes reportedly told investigators that she put the dead infant in the freezer because the smell of decomposition was overpowering.
The pair then fled to Florida, and on June 4, authorities apprehended them at an apartment complex in Bronson, where Mathis and Oakes got into a vehicle, and Mathis allegedly held the driver at gunpoint. According to the Dotham Eagle, SWAT members shot at Mathis — as Oakes’ teenage daughter was in close proximity.
“There was a big shoot out and I believe – if I’m not mistaken – the she received shrapnel in her leg,” Pat Jones, Houston County District Attorney, told WFSA.
“It’s a miracle she didn’t die in this whole crazy escapade.”
Jones also told the news station that the teenager testified against her mother at the trial that was cut short after Oakes entered into a plea deal.
“It was hard for her daughter to testify against her mother. It was traumatic. I suspect she probably suffers from some PTSD having gone through all this trauma,” Jones reportedly said.
The dead baby was reportedly left in the freezer for multiple days after the suspects fled to Florida, and authorities discovered the body in the freezer after a tip about the couple’s location led them to obtain a search warrant. According to AL.com, the baby died due to ingesting methamphetamine.
Mathis’s murder trial is set to begin in November.
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