Trial starts for mother charged in death of boy found in hotel freezer

Jury selection underway in Amanda Oaks manslaughter trial

DOTHAN, Ala. (WSFA) - Jury selection is underway in the trial of a mother arrested for her 6-month-old son’s death.

Amanda Gail Oakes is charged with manslaughter and corpse abuse in the death of Curtis James Oakes. Investigators found the child’s remains in a hotel room freezer in June.

Police previously charged her 28-year-old boyfriend, Carlton James Mathis, of Gainesville, Georgia, with murder in the child’s death. He was arrested after being shot during a police standoff in Bronson, Florida.

Based on information Mathis and Oaks told investigators while in custody, Dothan police were able to determine the couple had stayed at the Intown Suites, located on Ross Clark Circle.

While searching the property, investigators found the boy’s body inside a freezer. It appears the infant was in the freezer for about five to six days. It’s still unclear how the boy died.

Officials say it is believed that the child was deceased prior to being placed in the freezer, however foul play is suspected.

Late Monday, lawyers were still working to strike a jury. Opening statements could begin Tuesday.

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