Tasha Bats, 27, convicted of murder and child neglect. (Courtesy: WCRB-Chattanooga)
CLEVELAND, TENN. - A Bradley County jury has convicted a woman of murder and child neglect in the deaths of her two young sons, who were left in a car on a 101-degree day.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported the verdict was returned Thursday night against 27-year-old Tasha Bates, who broke down in tears after jurors filed out of the courtroom in Cleveland.
She spent several hours on the witness stand, answering questions about how she found her sons, 3-year-old River and 5-year-old Leland. She continued to maintain she found her children lying outside the car at the family's home in June 2012.
The jury found Bates guilty of felony murder and aggravated child neglect as well as a lesser drug charge.
The defense will appeal.