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Jessica Tata Trial: Jury begins deliberating in Houston day care fire case

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

FILE - In this March 23, 2012, file photo, former day care operator Jessica Tata leaves court after her arraignment in Houston.
AP Photo/Pat Sullivan
(CBS/AP) HOUSTON - Jurors are deliberating whether to convict a Houston woman of felony murder after a 2011 fire at her home day care killed four children who had been left alone.

Jessica Tata faces up to life in prison on one of four counts of felony murder.

Prosecutors say Tata left the children home alone and with oil cooking on a stove burner while she went shopping. Three children were also hurt in the blaze.

Defense attorney Mike DeGeurin argued the fire could have been sparked by a malfunctioning refrigerator.

Prosecutor Steve Baldassano said that argument was "crazy." Baldassano again showed jurors surveillance video of Tata shopping at Target while her home was on fire.

The jury can also choose to find Tata guilty of several lesser charges.

Complete coverage of Jessica Tata on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

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