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Jessica Tata defense rests in former day care worker's murder trial

FILE - In this March 23, 2012, file photo, former day care operator Jessica Tata leaves court after her arraignment in Houston. Opening statements are scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012, in the trial of Tata, the Houston day care owner who fled to Nigeria after a February 2011 fire killed four young children and injured three others. She faces four felony murder charges as well as five other counts, including abandoning a child. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File) Pat Sullivan

Jessica Tata leaves court after her arraignment in Houston on March 23, 2012
File, AP Photo/Pat Sullivan

(CBS/AP) HOUSTON - Defense attorneys for Jessica Tata rested their case this week in the murder trial that accuses the former day care worker of neglecting her duties while a fire at her home killed four children and injured three others.

Tata, 24, faces four counts of felony murder and is currently on trial for one child's death. She faces up to life in prison if convicted.

Closing arguments will begin after prosecutors call at least one rebuttal witness, an engineering expert who testified last week.

Investigators said the fire happened after oil in a pan ignited on a stovetop burner that was left on. Tata is accused of leaving the seven children she was caring for alone at her home to go shopping in February 2011 when the oil ignited. Her attorneys said she didn't intend to harm the children.

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