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Daycare Owner Jessica Tata Found Guilty of Murder

By// Raven Craig

Jessica Tata has been sentenced to 80 years in prison for the felony murder conviction of a child killed in a fire at her daycare. She still awaits trial for the three other deceased children.

Tata, of Texas, is a parent’s worst nightmare. In February 2011, the daycare owner left a pan of cooking oil on a hot stove while she went shopping–leaving toddlers unattended. The daycare caught fire, killing four children. The deceased are 3-year-old Shomari Dickerson, 20-month-old Elizabeth Kojah, 20-month-old Kendyll Stradford and 18-month-old Elias Castillo. Instead of accepting responsibility, Tata fled to Nigeria when the news broke, but was caught within a month and brought back to the US.

The pyromaniac has a history of setting buildings on fire. Your Black World reports, Tata was arrested in 2002 as a high school freshman for setting two fires in her school. In this daycare case, the jury only needed four hours to come back with a guilty verdict.