Texas Day Care Owner Faces Trial in Fatal Fire

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

HOUSTON (AP) - Testimony is set to begin this week in the first trial stemming from a fire at a Houston home day care center that killed four children and injured three others.

Jessica Tata is being tried on a felony murder charge for one of the deaths.

Prosecutors say the 24-year-old left the children alone to go to a nearby store when the fire happened. The blaze started when oil in a frying pan left on a stove top burner ignited.

Tata's attorneys say the murder charge is excessive because she never intended to harm the children.

But legal experts say if prosecutors prove she left the children alone and that led to the death, she is likely to be convicted of felony murder. It's punishable by up to life in prison.

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