Jury finds Calif. mother guilty in apartment fire death of four children

Shetarra James, in court
CBS Sacramento

(CBS/AP) FAIRFIELD, Calif. -- A jury has found a California mother guilty of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment in the deaths of her four children who died in an apartment fire.

Shetarra James was not found guilty of the more serious charges of second-degree murder.

CBS Sacramento reports that James and her sister, Latisha James, were arrested last year after police accused them of leaving four children alone in an apartment. Supposedly, the electricity was out in the apartment because the gas bill had not been paid, so there were lit candles inside, leading to the fire.

Three of the children were strapped into their strollers at the time, and all four children died in the blaze. Authorities said the two sisters had left the children alone for a half hour before the fire began.

Prosecutors dismissed manslaughter and child abuse charges for Latisha James, but they may decide to file again at a later date.