A Bradley County detective testified Tuesday that Tasha Bates, in a final interview, for the first time admitted she found her two sons in a hot car.
Detective Dewayne Scoggins said he told her the statement was "confidential" and she asked him not to tell her family. She said she had not admitted it to them.
Ms. Bates is standing trial at the Bradley County Justice Center on two counts of felony murder in the heat deaths of sons Leland, 5, and River, three and a half.
She is also charged with two counts of aggravated child abuse/endangerment, four counts of initiation of manufacture of methamphetamine, and one count of promotion of methamphetamine manufacture.
Detective Scoggins said Ms. Bates initially said she checked on the children every 20 minutes or so when they were playing outside in 101-degree weather on June 28, 2012. He said she later said it could have been as long as an hour and a half.
Detective Scoggins said he later did a test of how hot it was inside the car and found it was as high as 129 degrees. He said the test was done on a day that was not as hot. He said the Bates vehicle was returned to the residence where she was living at 879 Keith Valley Road and placed in the exact spot she said it had been that day.
She drove the boys to her father's house five minutes away after finding them unconscious.
The detective said it appeared Ms. Bates and her two sons were living in the garage area of her mother's trailer. He said the garage was filled with trash and there were numerous items related to the manufacture of meth by the "shake and bake" method found in the garage. It was cooled only by a fan.
He said Ms. Bates stated that she was cleaning the interior of the trailer the day of the incident.
She stated that she had fixed scrambled eggs for the boys earlier that morning, but the detective said he did not find evidence of that.
Ms. Bates said she had been out on a date on the night before the incident, but got home about 10 p.m.
A number of her associates as well as the father of the boys, Jonathan Bates, have criminal records, it was stated.
Detective Scoggins said on the day that the second boy died, Ms. Bates agreed to let him visit the residence to look over the scene.
Judge Amy Reedy is presiding.