Mom in child starvation case pleads guilty

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By Damon Lawrence

A mother accused of starving her son to death pleaded guilty in Roane County Criminal Court Thursday morning.

Amanda Ann Dotson was charged with first-degree murder, first-degree murder based upon child abuse, first-degree murder by child neglect, aggravated child abuse and aggravated child abuse by neglect.

Dotson’s attorney reached a deal with prosecutors, and she pleaded guilty to facilitation of first-degree murder by child neglect and aggravated child abuse.

“Are you entering that plea freely and voluntarily without any threats or pressures or promises?” Circuit Court Judge Mike Pemberton asked.

“Yes, sir,” Dotson responded.

The deal requires her to serve 40 years in prison. She’s been in jail since June 19, 2012. She will get credit for the time she’s already served.

Matthew Dotson, the co-defendant in the case, is tentatively scheduled to stand trial in January. Amanda Dotson agreed to testify against him, if necessary.

The couple’s 2-year-old son, Clifford, died on May 3, 2012.

“I’m ready to move on to trial against Matthew,” Assistant District Attorney General Bob Edwards said after Thursday’s hearing.

For more on this story, read Friday’s edition of the Roane County News.