BRADLEY COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -- Tasha Bates sat in Bradley County Court for hours Tuesday. However, her court appearance lasted less than ten minutes.
Bates is charged with two counts of felony murder and aggravated child neglect, after her two young boys, 3-year-old River and 5-year-old Leeland, died of hyperthermia in late June.
Autopsy results show their core body temperature was at least 105 degrees. Bates initially reported a drowning and drove the boys to her father's house a couple miles away.
Investigators now believe the boys were inside her car for a period of time.
"We're still looking for answers, we're still looking for reasons why this happened. Why are those boys not here anymore," asks cousin Stacey Morrow.
The boys' family quietly sat in the courtroom as the judge set Bates' trial date. This is the only time they see her in person.
"It's hard, it's breathtaking really," Morrow says.
"I want justice for the boys, but I want fairness for Tasha," Linda Bates says.
Linda Bates, River and Leeland's grandmother, is now raising their older brother Skyler. He's in the fourth grade and doing well.
"On the student council at school," says Bates.
However, she says he still asks about his little brothers.
"He misses them," Bates explains.
The judge set a motion hearing for Bates on April 19, her trial is set to begin August 27.
"It's just good to get closer to the end, to have the closure that we need," says Bates.
"It still seems so far away. There's still so many unanswered questions that we just don't understand," Morrow says.
Thursday marks 25 years since 69-year old Mena Richie was found beaten to death in her home.
900 Whitehall Road
Chattanooga, TN 37405
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