DOTHAN, Ala. – A Georgia man has died in an Alabama jail while awaiting trial for the death of his 6-month-old son found in a hotel room freezer last summer.
Carlton James Mathis, a 30-year-old from Gainesville, Ga., died at the Houston County jail in Dothan, Ala., on Friday after a jailer found him unresponsive just before 10:00 p.m.
Emergency crews performed CPR and used a defibrillator on Mathis, but were unsuccessful at reviving him, Lt. Heath Carpenter of the State Bureau of Investigation told AL.com.
Mathis was originally charged with murder and was awaiting trial later this year for the death of his son, Curtis James Oakes, who was killed after ingesting methamphetamine. After his child died, Mathis reportedly wrapped the boy’s body in a towel, placed it in a garbage bag and stuffed him in a Dothan hotel room freezer, where he was found about five to six days later, according to Dothan police.
The baby’s mother, Amanda Gail Oakes, 36, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and corpse abuse earlier this week and was sentenced to 99 years in prison. She agreed to testify against Mathis at his trial in November.
Oakes told police they put the child in the freezer when the smell became unbearable.
Last year, after police found the infant’s body, a search began for Mathis, who was eventually found and shot by a SWAT team operator in Bronson, Fla. He received medical treatment for his wounds and was taken to a hospital for additional treatment. Oakes was also arrested during that time.
Mathis was originally charged with murder before that charge was dismissed in favor of a manslaughter charge, as well as corpse abuse.
The body of Mathis is reportedly being taken to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences to determine the cause of death.