Jury Deliberating Sentence in Day Care Fire Trial

By: AP Email
By: AP Email
FILE - In this Oct. 24, 2012 file photo, Jessica Tata, accused in the deaths of four children at her west Houston daycare, stands at the conclusion of opening statements at the Harris County Criminal Courthouse, in Houston. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle,  Mayra Beltran, File)

FILE - In this Oct. 24, 2012 file photo, Jessica Tata, accused in the deaths of four children at her west Houston daycare, stands at the conclusion of opening statements at the Harris County Criminal Courthouse, in Houston. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Mayra Beltran, File)

HOUSTON (AP) - Jurors in Houston are now deliberating the sentence of a Texas woman convicted of murder after a fire at her home day care killed four children.

The jury got the case after closing arguments Monday in the punishment phase of the trial of Jessica Tata.

Those jurors could sentence Tata to five years to life in prison. Tata was convicted last week of felony murder in the death of 16-month-old Elias Castillo.

Prosecutors asked jurors for a life sentence, while defense attorneys asked for a sentence that isn't excessive.

Defense attorneys have tried to counter prosecutors' claims that Tata was an irresponsible day care owner who left the children she was caring for alone on multiple occasions and who ran an unclean facility.


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