Man Charged with Killing Infant Son Found Dead in Cell

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is investigating a “death in custody” after an inmate was found dead in his cell in south Alabama.

According to SBI Lieutenant Heath Carpenter, a Houston County Corrections Officer requested emergency medical assistance at approximately 9:50 pm Friday after observing an unresponsive inmate.  Corrections staff, Sheriff’s Deputies, and Paramedics from the Dothan Fire Department performed CPR and used an automatic electronic defibrillator, but were unsuccessful in their attempts to resuscitate the inmate.

Carlton James Mathis, 30, of Gainsville, Ga., was pronounced dead at the Houston County Jail and was transported to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for the cause of death to be determined.

Mathis was in jail for a number of offenses. One being the death of his infant son, C.J.

C.J. was only around 6 months old at the time of his death. According to reports, he had accidentally ingested methamphetamine that Mathis and the child’s mother,  Amanda Gail Oakes, had with them while staying in the InTown Inn and Suites in Dothan.

Police say after the baby died, the couple placed his body in a hotel room freezer and headed to Florida where they were apprehended.

Mathis was originally charged with murder, but that was dismissed in favor of a manslaughter charge. He also faced corpse abuse charges.

Sheriff Valenza requested the SBI conduct an independent investigation into the circumstances related to Mathis’ death.  A copy of the completed investigation will be given to the Houston County District Attorney.

No additional information is available at this time.

Categories: News, South Alabama