Drifter admits killing Oklahoma woman in Tennessee

Thursday, December 8th 2005, 9:14 am
By: News On 6

LEXINGTON, Tenn. (AP) -- A hitchhiker accused of killing an Oklahoma woman who had given him a ride in Tennessee has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in Tennessee.

Bobby Joe McCauley was sentenced to life in prison without parole as part of a plea deal in which he admits he killed Amanda Phillips-Bateman of Chandler.

Phillips-Bateman disappeared March 21st while driving from Chandler to visit her parents in Franklin, Tennessee. Her body was found several days later in Natchez Trace State Park and her car was found in a lake near Dallas.

Investigators say McCauley strangled Phillips-Bateman, then used her cell phone to call his mother and admitted killing the woman.

McCauley was arrested March 30th after an anonymous tip led police to him at a truck stop in Pennsylvania.