Bates denied a new trial
by GREG KAYLOR Banner Staff Writer
Mar 19, 2014 | 1630 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Natasha Moses Bates
Natasha Moses Bates

A motion for a new trial requested by Natasha Bates has been denied in Bradley County Criminal Court.

Bates was convicted last year in the deaths of her two small sons, due to neglect and being a party to narcotics manufacturing.

Bates was 28 when she was sentenced to two life terms to be served consecutively, for the deaths of her sons, River, 3, and Leland Bates, 5.

The two children died of hyperthermia, a heat-related illness, according to autopsy reports. Their body core temperatures were significantly elevated when they were taken to area hospitals for treatment.

The assistant district attorney general who tried the case, Stephen Hatchett, proved through evidence submitted to the jury, that it “was a meth case,” alluding to the fact the children were neglected and had been left unattended prior to their deaths.

Bates reportedly aided in manufacturing meth at the home she shared with her sons in rural Keith Valley.

River and Leland had reportedly been playing outdoors, unattended in June 2012, during a heat wave, which had caused daytime temperatures to soar into the triple digits.

Bates told investigators she found them lying in the yard. Investigators proved they had been inside a car. She had taken them to her father’s home and contacted emergency services for aid. The initial call to dispatchers indicated a possible drowning situation; however, as the investigation began, that information was discovered not to be accurate.

The Bates boys died a short time later and charges were levied as the investigation continued.

Evidence of narcotics production was also found at the scene on Keith Valley Road.

Initially, Bates was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated child neglect. She was later charged with four counts of initiating methamphetamine manufacturing, and promotion of manufacturing meth at her Keith Valley Road residence.

After her conviction in August 2013, her attorney, Richard Hughes, announced he would seek a new trial as her appeals process was continued.

Bates’ story changed several times throughout her testimony.

According to Hatchett, Detective Dewayne Scoggins of Bradley County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division was “in a search for the truth,” as to what events occurred prior to and the day of the children’s deaths.

“The truth matters if she found them in that car. It matters. Those two little boys deserved truth and justice. It matters,” Hatchett said during his closing statement in the murder trial.

“These were two little boys who died. There were no winners in this case. Two little, bright boys,” Hatchett added.

Judge Amy Reedy stood firm with sentencing guidelines, citing the deaths of the two children.

“She will be in her late 70s before she is eligible for parole,” Hughes pleaded with the judge during Bates’ sentencing phase in August 2013.

Assistant District Attorney General Paul Rush handled the state’s case in the recent court hearing.

Bates’ parole eligibility date is set for March 20, 2072.