Dates set for Bates hearing and trial
by By GREG KAYLOR Banner Staff Writer
Nov 21, 2012 | 1763 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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An August 2013 court date has been set for a woman charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the death of her two sons.

Natasha Moses Bates appeared Tuesday during a status hearing before Criminal Court Judge Amy Reedy.

A motions hearing was set for April 19, 2013, with a trial date set for Aug. 27.

River Bates, 3, and his brother Leland, 5, died as the result of elevated body core temperatures. Investigators believed the boys had been confined inside a space in the summer heat and their bodies overheated, causing their deaths, according to reports.

Autopsy results concurred with local investigators that the two boys had died from hyperthermia, or elevated body core temperature.

Investigators went to a Keith Valley Road address on July 13 after receiving information about possible drug activity, according to Bob Gault, media relations coordinator for the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office.

“Through investigation and statements, investigators found reason to believe the boys died in a car and an autopsy ruled the cause of death to be from hyperthermia,” Gault said following Bates’ indictment by a Bradley County grand jury.

Temperatures that day were in the 100s.

Criminal Investigations Division detectives with the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office began their search for answers after first responders rushed to an Armstrong Road home around 3 p.m. June 28, where they had reports of two young children unresponsive and possibly drowned.

River Bates’ body core temperature was 109 degrees after being transported to SkyRidge Medical Center, according to Dr. Jeff Miller’s autopsy and toxicology reports.

Leland Bates was flown to Erlanger Medical Center where he later died. His core temperature was reportedly 103 degrees after medical treatment to cool his body while in transport to the Chattanooga hospital, according to Miller.

Bates was later charged with two counts of aggravated child abuse/endangerment, four counts of initiation of manufacture of methamphetamine and one count of promotion of meth manufacture, according to reports after the investigation expanded.

The alleged drug charges are the result of detectives returning to the home on a search warrant, according to Gault.

Public defenders Richard Hughes and John Fortuno will be representing Bates.