Conviction in Houston Day Care Fatal Fire Upheld

A Texas appeals court has upheld the murder conviction of a woman serving 80 years in prison for a fire that killed four children at the Houston day care center she operated.

Jessica Tata's attorneys raised five challenges to her conviction of one of the deaths, including arguments that arson investigators improperly retrieved a shopping bag from the burned home after the February 2011 fire. The 1st Court of Appeals in Houston rejected the arguments Tuesday.

A time-stamped receipt in the bag showed Tata was at a Target store when the fire started, meaning the seven children in her care -- from 1 to 3 years old -- were alone. She contended she was at the home when the fire broke out but was overcome by smoke.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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