Drifter sentenced to life for killing woman in Tennessee - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Drifter sentenced to life for killing woman in Tennessee

LEXINGTON, Tenn. (AP) - A hitchhiker has pleaded guilty in Lexington in the killing of a woman who gave him a ride.

Bobby Joe McCauley's lawyer says his client accepted a life prison term in the killing of Amanda Phillips Bateman to avoid a possible death penalty if found guilty in a trial.

The 29-year-old victim was traveling from her home in Chandler, Oklahoma, to visit her family in Franklin when she disappeared last spring. She had called her mother from Haywood County and said she had picked up a hitchhiker.

McCauley admitted killing Bateman and dumping her body in Natchez Trace State Park early on March 21st. Horseback riders discovered it two days later.

An anonymous tip helped authorities capture McCauley on March 30th at a truck stop in Harbor Creek, Pennsylvania.

McCauley was described by police as a drifter who frequented truck stops, often hitchhiked and had ties throughout the country. He has a history of violent offenses and has been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

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