Somber anniversary: 4 kids killed in fire 1 year ago

Jessica Tata faces multiple charges in fatal fire at Jackie's Child Care

Published On: Feb 24 2012 10:20:02 AM CST
HOUSTON -

It has been one year since a fire at a home day care claimed four children's lives.

Shomari Dickerson, 3, Elizabeth Kojah, 20 months, Kendyll Stradford, 20 months, and Elias Castillo, 16 months, died in the fire at Jackie's Child Care on Crestpark at Waypark shortly before 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 24, 2011.

Three other children were injured in the fire.

Their caregiver, Jesssica Tata, has been accused of leaving a pot of oil on a hot burner and then leaving the children alone in the home while she went shopping at a nearby Target store.

A few days after the fire, Tata flew to Nigeria. She was later arrested there and extradited to Houston.

Tata has been charged with four counts of felony murder, three counts of abandoning a child and two counts of reckless injury to a child. A tentative trial date was set for March 23.

Tata has also been accused of stealing between $1,500 and $20,000 worth of food stamps between September 2007 and February 2011. She has pleaded not guilty to that charge.