Texas Home Daycare Owner Found Guilty in Fire Death of Toddler

Jessica Tata, 24, was found guilty of the death of a toddler in her home daycare that burned to death after she left them in her home alone while going shopping at Target, February 2011.

It is so much harder to find qualified, caring daycare professionals to keep your children these days.  The most horrific accidents and murders have occurred at the hands of those entrusted to provide a safe environment for children.

Jessica Tata, 24, of Houston, Texas, was running her own home daycare when she decided to go to Target and shop.  She left toddlers in the house alone and a fire broke out.  Neighbors listened to the children screaming for their lives as four of seven children burned to death in the fire.  Those that were not consumed by the flames, were seriously injured, according to the Boston Globe.  The children’s ages ranged from 16 months to 3 years.

The Target store surveillance video was instrumental to the case, as well as, the testimony from a former Target manager that testified that

“Tata did not seem to be in a hurry after realizing she had left the stove on while the kids were at the day care.”

She has only been found guilty of one of the four children’s deaths.  Elias Castillo was only 16 months old when he perished in the fire February 2011.  His family was happy with the verdict.

‘‘We’re thankful for today’s verdict,’’ said Nancy Villanueva, one of Elias’ aunts. ‘‘We’re happy.’’

Tata can consider herself quite fortunate that the district attorney did not ask for the death penalty.  Texas is notorious for their death penalty rulings.  The maximum sentence Tata will receive is life in prison for Castillo’s death, but she will face the court three more times for the deaths of the other children that died in the fire.

Read more here.

-J.C. Brooks

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