DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is investigating a “death in custody” at the Houston County Jail, a source confirmed to WDHN just after midnight Saturday.
Other sources confirmed to WDHN that the deceased is 30-year-old Carlton James Mathis. This was reflected in his jail record as of Saturday morning.
Mathis was in jail for numerous offenses, the chief among them being the death of his infant son, C.J.
C.J., only around half a year old at the time of his death, had accidentally ingested methamphetamine Mathis and the child’s mother, Amanda Gail Oakes, had with them while staying in the InTown Inn and Suites in Dothan.
Following the child’s death, Oakes and Mathis wrapped the baby’s body and stuffed him in a freezer when the baby’s body began to rot. Investigators believed he was in the freezer for at least five days.
“There’s no way for an infant to defend itself,” Lt. Lynn Watkins said following Mathis’ violent arrest. “That infant is completely dependant on its parents. In this case, this infant was failed by its parents.”
In the midst of this trauma, Oakes offered her daughter marijuana to cope with her brother’s death.
After hiding the body, the parents were later found in Bronson, Florida, while leaving an apartment building. A SWAT team member shot Mathis after he reportedly brandished a weapon.
Mathis was originally charged with murder, but that was dismissed in favor of a manslaughter charge, the same charge filed against Oakes. Both also faced corpse abuse charges.
Oakes eventually pleaded guilty last Wednesday to all the charges, earning herself a 99-year sentence with a chance of parole.
“She also agreed to possibly testify against the co-defendant should we need her,” District Attorney Pat Jones said.
His trial was to be held in September prior to his death.