Woman Gets 80 Years for Deadly Texas Day Care Fire

By: AP Email
By: AP Email
A Texas woman has been sentenced to 80 years in prison after being convicted of felony murder in the death of a child killed in a fire at her Houston home day care.

FILE - In this Feb. 24, 2011, file photo emergency personnel respond to a fire at a day care operated by Jessica Tata in Houston. Houston Fire Department investigators said that Tata left the kids she was caring for without adult supervision, while a stovetop burner was on, before a deadly blaze that killed four of the children and injured three others, according to an arrest affidavit made public Monday, Feb. 28, 2011. Tata has been charged with reckless injury to a child involving serious bodily injury. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Michael Paulsen, File) MANDATORY CREDIT

(AP) - A Texas woman has been sentenced to 80 years in prison after being convicted of felony murder in the death of a child killed in a fire at her Houston home day care.

Jessica Tata (TAH'-tah) was sentenced Tuesday. A jury convicted her last week in the death of 16-month-old Elias Castillo. She faced up to life in prison.

Prosecutors say Tata left several children alone with a pan of oil on a stove while she shopped at Target. The 2011 fire also injured three other children.

Tata's attorneys argued at trial that faulty kitchen equipment could have sparked the blaze. They said the 24-year-old made a mistake leaving the kids alone, but did not commit murder.

Tata also is charged with felony murder in the other three deaths.


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