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Leland Cole Bates
March 6, 2007 - June 29, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial
River Wade Bates
October 1, 2008 - June 28, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial

I wish that people would take things seriously when the weather starts to change and it gets hot and there are HUNDREDS of warnings out there to NOT leave children or pets in the car and not leave children unattended who has access to a car. With all of the warnings, we still get people who believe it will "never happen to them". Children and pets die EVERY year due to being left in cars that are not hot at first, but heat up after being closed up in in the heat.

After leaving two little Angels in the car, Natasha Moses lied and told Police that she had left her children outside, unattended, playing on a Slip N Slide, she said it was 101 degrees outside and when she went back after 45 minutes, they were both unconscious and had drowned. Without a phone in the house, she drove to her father's house and called from there.

At the hospital, attempts were made to lower the body temperatures of the two brothers who had temperatures of over 103. CPR was done and they were given organ stabilizing medications as well as what was reported to be gallons of cool fluid. River died within 45 minutes of the time Natasha called Paramedics at 2:44 p.m. and Leland was declared brain dead later that evening. Eric Blach, the lead investigator with the Medical Examiner's Office said that River's condition had just been too delicate and though more than 12 people had been in the room trying to help him, he didn't make it:

"They were doing absolutely everything they could to keep the body cool"

Eric Blach said that deaths related to hyperthermia were very rare in Bradley County. Linda Bates went to the hospital and to be with River:

"He was basically gone by the time he there"

After River died, Linda went to be with Leland. At the hospital, Leland's mother and father, who are divorced, gathered with other family members to stand by Leland, who was in a coma, they were all there as he died. The families from both sides used to be close and would get together to make sure someone was always available to take care of these two little boys, it was reported that after they died, the families were no longer close:

"There's a lot hearsay going around and it's hard to know exactly what happened and everyone
is just so sad. Both just gone so quick, at the same time"
Great great grandmother - Debbie Burgess

Natasha Bates was charged with first degree murder in the deaths of five year old Leland and three year old River. A jury trial took place in which the Prosecution planned to prove that Natasha had left her children in a hot car and not on a Slip N Slide as she had said. It was said that Natasha was cooking as well as using Meth Amphetamine. Assistant District Attorney General Stephen Hatchett would be prosecuting the case and would introduce evidence that when testing was done, Natasha's car reached 129 degrees inside. Stephen Hatchett said that a key to this prosecution was going to be the different accounts of what happened that had been told to them by Natasha:

"She changed her story several times, finally admitting that they were in the car when she found
them.
She also said she fed them, but the autopsy revealed no food in their stomachs"

Public Defender, Richard Hughes, said that there was a lot of confusion surrounding the call to 911 that day and he talked about how the children were always outside and on that day they had been playing on a Slip N Slide and at some point they had gone to the car and that's where Natasha found them. Mike said that he felt the children had drowned and that they were red and were now turning purple

In court it was said that when Paramedics got to his home, Natasha's father, Mike Kile, was giving CPR to the children. River's body temperature was said to be 109 and an autopsy had revealed that he had no food at all in his stomach. Leland's body temperature had been 103 degrees when he got to the hospital.

Richard Hughes said that Natasha was a single parent doing the best she could considering she had no job and was going through some hard times:

"Her mother allowed her to live at the trailer and she had occupied  it for about a month. We believe
the proof will show that neighbors were the ones who produced meth. Other people had access to
the property. She couldn't dial 911. Her cell phone is text only. She went to her car and opened the
trunk. She heard a noise, dropped her phone inside her trunk"

Richard Hughes added that her phone had been located in the trunk and it was opened as if she had been using it. On the cell phone was a partial text which had something to with drugs. When the children were found, River was in the front seat and Leland was only partially inside the car and they were both on the passenger side.

Natasha was facing life in prison for the felony murder charge and 15 to 25 years for the child neglect and eight to 12 years for the Meth charges. The Judge made a decision not to allow Prosecutors to show pictures to the jury of Leland and River's bodies, saying they were too devastating. I agree with him, those pictures would have been with the jury members for the rest of their of their lives. The jury had already heard all of the details of the suffering they had gone through, that was enough. Natasha had been in therapy to help her deal with the deaths of her children and she was considered suicidal, she also had to sit and listen to how her actions on that day, caused the deaths of these two Angels. In his closing arguments Richard Hughes said:

"Is that lady a criminal or she a tragic figure who made a horrible mistake"

She's a criminal, Richard, she caused the death of her children, she did drugs, she's a criminal! Two Angels are dead because of her actions, that's not just a "mistake", that's murder!



In August of 2013, the jury took a few hours to deliberate before finding Natasha Bates, who was 27 years old at the time, guilty of two counts of felony first degree murder and two counts of aggravated child neglect. Natasha was also found guilty of facilitation of Meth. Natasha was given $56,000. in fines. Natasha's Aunt requested of the Judge to allow her to hug her niece as she was being lead away, the Judge said not, I don't see what harm it could have done.

Richard Hughes said:

"I knew this was going to be a hard case, based on the fact that the state was going to present"

Stephen Hatchett said:

"I think they rendered the correct verdict, the evidence was there. These boys died because
of Meth. It you take Meth out of the equation, I don't think we'd have this situation. There's no
winners in these cases. You've got a family that's heartbroken because their daughter is
going to prison. Two little boys are dead"

Linda Bates said she would now have explain the absence of another family member:

"It was the worst possible. The worst possible. It's painful, I have to go home and tell her son that
his momma has life in prison now"

Richard Hughes said that they would appeal the all of the convictions which carried an automatic life sentence. In November of 2013, Natasha was in court for sentencing and Judge Amy Reedy sentenced her to two life sentences. Richard Hughes asked that the sentences be allowed to be served concurrently, Stephen Hatchett had no object to that:

"Justice can be accomplished with one life sentence. That in no way diminishes the life of
these children"
Richard Hughes

The Judge, who disagreed with him, said:

"These are two people that were murdered. Two people. Two murders. These children
were introduced into a horrible place and around horrible goings on and around horrible
activity"

  

A life sentence in the state of Tennessee says that a person will be held in prison for at least 51 years. Natasha could still be eligible for parole and in life sentence cases, an appeal is automatic. Richard Hughes said:

"She is effectively facing life without parole"

In June of 2014, Linda Bates was interviewed and she said she had made peace with the situation:

"Because of the Lord. You know, the peace that passes and the understanding
that He's given to us. I just, I thank Him for that"



Leland and River have and older brother, Skyler. Since their deaths, Skyler has been part of a campaign to fight drug abuse. Linda said:

"We've seen where lives have been changed because of our story and that's why we want
to get the story out. We want to see that other people don't go through the same tragedy we did"

Linda says that her faith, family and friends have helped to get through the last two years and that now, when she thinks of her grandchildren, it causes her to smile:

"They were brothers, they loved each other dearly. Where one was, you know the other was so
 now one  is in
Heaven and the other is in Heaven"

SAFETY TIPS

• Even with windows cracked open, temperatures inside a vehicle can spike 20 degrees within 10 minutes. Never risk leaving a child or a pet in a closed car even for a brief time.

• If you see a child unattended in a hot vehicle, call 911.

• When a child is in the back seat, put your cell phone, purse or briefcase back there, too. Or keep a stuffed animal in the car seat and place it next to you on the passenger seat as a reminder.

• More than 1 in 5 children who die of heatstroke were supposed to be dropped off at daycare that morning. To prevent this, participate in Ray Ray's Pledge: Make a pact with your child's teacher that you will call them if the child will be late or absent, and they will call you if your child does not arrive at the usual time.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ray Ray's Pledge, Jan Null, San Francisco State University Department of Geoscien

FOR MORE DATA: Visit www.ggweather.com/heat



OBITUARIES:

Bates, Leland Cole (Cleveland)
Sunday, July 01, 2012

Leland Cole Bates, 5, died Friday, June 29, 2012 in a local hospital.

Leland was preceded in death by his brother Travis Lee Hyatt Bates, brothers River Wade Bates and his grandparents George and Marie Lipps and Johnny and Ruth Bates.

Survivors include his mother Tasha Moses of Cleveland, his father Jonathan Bates of Cleveland, one brother Skler Bates of Cleveland, grandparents Sandra “Sandy” Keith Smith of Cleveland, Bobby Joe Moses of Cave Springs, Ark., Mike Kile of Cleveland, Linda and Ted Bates of Cleveland, great-grandparents Faye and Ted Ghorley of Cleveland, James and Viola Keith of Harrison, great-great-grandmother Debbie Burgess of Cleveland, aunts Cassie Moses of Cave Springs, Ark., and, Kristie Moore and her husband Dwight of Benton, uncles James Moses of Cave Springs, Ark., Travis Bates and his wife Lydia of Delano, Eric Bates and his wife Lisa of Cleveland, great aunts and uncles Bryan and Sherry Keith, Tracy and David Honey, all of Cleveland, Diane
and Bruce Congioloso of Dayton, Tn., Janice Clark of Cleveland, Tn., Kathy Kile of Chattanooga, special cousins Blake Honey, Devin and Hunter Farmer, all of Cleveland Rylee Elane Rogers of Cave Springs, Ark.,
and several other cousins.

A Remembrance of Life service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 2, 2012 at the North Chapel of the Jim Rush Funeral Homes with Rev. Mike Ferree and Rev. Travis Bates officiating. Interment will follow in the Moore’s Chapel Cemetery.

The family will receive friends Monday from 4 until 8 at the funeral home.
Bates, River Cole (Cleveland)
Sunday, July 01, 2012

River Wade Bates, 3, died Thursday June 28 2012 in a local hospital.

River was preceded in death by his brother Travis Lee Hyatt Bates and his grandparents George and Marie Lipps and Johnny and Ruth Bates.

Survivors include his mother Tasha Moses of Cleveland, his father Jonathan Bates of Cleveland, one brother Skler Bates of Cleveland, grandparents Sandra "Sandy" Keith Smith of Cleveland, Bobby Joe Moses of Cave Springs, Ark., Mike Kile of Cleveland, Linda and Ted Bates of Cleveland, great-grandparents Faye and Ted Ghorley of Cleveland, James and Viola Keith of Harrison, great-great-grandmother Debbie Burgess of Cleveland, aunts Cassie Moses of Cave Springs, Ark., and, Kristie Moore and her husband Dwight of Benton, uncles James Moses of Cave Springs, Ark., Travis Bates and his wife Lydia of Delano, Eric Bates and his wife Lisa of Cleveland, great aunts and uncles Bryan and Sherry Keith, Tracy and David Honey, all of Cleveland, Diane and Bruce Congioloso of Dayton, Tn., Janice Clark of Cleveland, Tn., Kathy Kile of Chattanooga, special cousins Blake Honey, Devin and Hunter Farmer, all of Cleveland Rylee Elane Rogers of Cave Springs, Ark., and several other cousins.

A Remembrance of Life service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 2, 2012 at the North Chapel of the Jim Rush Funeral Homes with Rev. Mike Ferree and Rev. Travis Bates officiating. Interment will follow in the Moore's Chapel Cemetery.

The family will receive friends Monday from 4 until 8 at the funeral home.

This page was created on July 1, 2014
Death occurred in the state of Tennessee

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