Woman Convicted of Murder in Texas Day Care Fire

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) - A woman has been found guilty of murder in the death of one of four children killed in a fire at her home day care in Houston.

A jury found Jessica Tata (TAH'-tah) guilty Tuesday of felony murder in the February 2011 death of 16-month-old Elias Castillo. She faces up to life in prison.

Prosecutors say Tata left the children alone with a pan of oil atop a stove top burner while she went shopping. The fire also injured three other children.

Tata's attorneys argued that she had tried to save the children and produced an expert witness who said faulty kitchen equipment could have sparked the blaze.

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


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