HOUSTON (AP) — A sentencing hearing has begun for a Houston woman convicted of felony murder after four unattended children died in a fire at her home day care.
Jessica Tata could receive life in prison for the February 2011 death of 16-month-old Elias Castillo. Authorities say the 24-year-old Tata left Elias and six other children unsupervised while she went to a nearby Target store.
The fire started when oil ignited in a pan atop a stovetop burner. Three other children were seriously injured.
A jury convicted Tata Tuesday after nearly a day of deliberations.
Defense attorney Mike DeGeurin says Tata has "never lost sight of the real victims" in the fire.
Prosecutors did not indicate whether they will seek a life sentence.