Houston day care fire trial to soon reach jury
by Associated Press Wire
November 12, 2012 11:35 AM | 791 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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. A refrigerator, not a stove, might be to blame for causing a fire at the Texas home day care that killed four children and injured three others, an engineering expert told jurors Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012 during the owner's murder trial. Tata, 24, is charged with four counts of felony murder but is currently being tried in the death of 16-month-old Elias Castillo. She faces up to life in prison if convicted. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Mayra Beltran, 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. A refrigerator, not a stove, might be to blame for causing a fire at the Texas home day care that killed four children and injured three others, an engineering expert told jurors Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012 during the owner's murder trial. Tata, 24, is charged with four counts of felony murder but is currently being tried in the death of 16-month-old Elias Castillo. She faces up to life in prison if convicted. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Mayra Beltran, File)
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In this Feb. 24, 2011 file photo, emergency personnel respond to a fire at a home day care operated by Jessica Tata, killing four children in Houston. Attorneys for Jessica Tata, a Texas woman facing a murder charge after a fire at her home day care killed four children and injured three other kids, could begin presenting their case to jurors. However, Jessica Tata’s attorneys declined to say how many witnesses, if any, they planned to call Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 to testify in a Houston courtroom. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Michael Paulsen, File)
In this Feb. 24, 2011 file photo, emergency personnel respond to a fire at a home day care operated by Jessica Tata, killing four children in Houston. Attorneys for Jessica Tata, a Texas woman facing a murder charge after a fire at her home day care killed four children and injured three other kids, could begin presenting their case to jurors. However, Jessica Tata’s attorneys declined to say how many witnesses, if any, they planned to call Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 to testify in a Houston courtroom. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Michael Paulsen, File)
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HOUSTON (AP) — A jury in Houston will soon consider the fate of a woman charged with murder after four children died in a fire at her home day care in February 2011.

Closing arguments are scheduled Monday in the trial of Jessica Tata (TAH’-tah), who is charged in the death of toddler Elias Castillo. Testimony wrapped up Thursday. Tata did not take the stand.

Prosecutors say Tata left the children home alone and with oil cooking on a stove burner while she went out to the store. Three children were hurt in the blaze.

Defense attorneys produced expert witnesses to testify that the fire may have been sparked by faulty kitchen equipment.

Tata is charged with four counts of felony murder.

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