Day care operator found guilty of murdering four kids
A jury found Jessica Tata guilty of murder for a 2011 fire that killed four children at her home day care.
November 13th, 2012
12:42 PM ET

Day care operator found guilty of murdering four kids

A jury in Houston has found Jessica Tata guilty of murder in the deaths of four children in a fire.

Tata's carelessness led to the fire at her home day care in 2011 and she then fled - with seven children trapped inside, evidence showed.  Three children were injured but survived.

CNN affiliate KTRK reports that Tata could face up to 99 years in prison.

After the fire in February last year, Tata fled to Nigeria.  The U.S. Marshals Service named her one of its most wanted fugitives.  The service said it worked "with international investigative resources in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, to bring Tata to justice."

She was arrested in Nigeria and brought back in less than a month.

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Filed under: Crime • Justice • Nigeria • Texas • U.S.
soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. alex

    She may have been wrong leaving those kids alone, but she didn't intend for any harm to come to them. Now i just watched this white couple walk out of court with 2 years for molesting and killing their own child. So why the discrepancy in the sentences? Again America shows, some people get the punishment they deserve or worse while others are allowed to pretty much get free and do it all over again.

    November 14, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • JP

      Alex, I do understand are you trying to incite based on opinion. The question you have to ask yourself before you start jumping to conclusions is did you sit and listen to both trials or better yet did you form your baised opinions based on what you read in the media? Because we know they would never bias a report? Before you start making racially charged comments why don’t you get all the facts? There is a problem in this country and some receive unjust penalties. Don’t make this a Black / White thing without all the information to back it up. Armchair judgment is just as much the problem in this country and incites intolerance.

      November 14, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • maryl

      The children were left in her care. She went shopping and even told a clerk at a Target store she'd left the pan of oil on the stove and the burner was still on. She came back from shopping and the house was on fire.
      She was being paid to care for those children, which she failed to do. She has been convicted of only one death. Forget the color of her skin and judge her actions.

      November 14, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • GM1953

      The deaths occurred because she left them alone putting them in danger. Under Texas law, a person can be convicted of felony murder if he or she committed an underlying felony and that action led to the death

      November 20, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pepper

      She left the stove on and then went to Target, leaving all of the children alone. She should be punished to the full extent of the law. It doesn't matter what color she is, this was irresponsible and stupid.

      December 3, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • RhondaKelly07

      2.africians.murdered.my.parents.when.I.was.at.school..they.only.got.6.years..they.took..my.whole.life.went.to.32.foster.homes.and..oh.god..when.I.see.this..ALL.MURDERES.ALL.RAPIST.ALL.CHILD.MOLESTERES.ALL.GANGSTERES.ARE.TERREST.AND.SHOULD.REVIEVE.FULL.LIFE.DONT.CARE.WHAT.COLOR.THEY.ARE..

      December 6, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ralph M

    They need to leave her in a burning house.

    November 14, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • yosemite sam

      I hear ya

      November 19, 2012 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • lexlennon

      I second that!

      November 21, 2012 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  3. Poolchick

    Hope she get the DP cause she doesn't deserve to live. She needs to sit there feeling the fear of being put to death just like those kids had to deal with fear of being burnt alive then the pain of death by fire.

    November 14, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • nymom

      Agreed !

      November 14, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. darrenhankins

    enjoy prison

    November 15, 2012 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
  5. JennyO

    Alex I can't believe you just had the balls to turn this into a racial issue, really? She let children burn alive in a house SHE negligently left when she was paid and trusted to keep them safe!

    November 15, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Scottish Mama

    One reason I chose to stay home with my children.

    November 16, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Altimo

      I salute you Madam... because your sacrifice will lead to a better upbringing of our nation.

      November 27, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • J Davis

      Not a choice for all and there are great caregivers out there

      November 29, 2012 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  7. peetie

    don't mess around in Texas

    November 16, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. eye for an eye indeed

    I agree saywhat, somewhat. Not all incidents that result in death deserve death in turn. However, considering the turn the world is taking toward it's own demise, I think it's a good time to give the gene pool a good shock. Next we can move on to the oxygen waster that murdered his 5 month old baby on account of "spare the rod, spoil the child", (because you know if you don't beat your 5 month old they're just going to grow up all kinds of bad). The lazy, self-indulgence that is the world today will not continue to survive with the rapid rate of reproduction taking place among the most stellar of stupids. Contrary to what you believe, it does benefit society to be rid of trash like this. We might not see the benefits but future generations would.

    November 16, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ALAN FISCHER

    Is she illegal

    November 19, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. OhioJim

    Send her back to Nigeria. A fate worse than death!

    November 21, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  11. Brandylu54

    Maybe we need to go back to the old Testament "eye for an eye." If all the murderers had to suffer what they did to the victim THAT might make them think twice,

    November 23, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gary

      For the record I am a Buddhist but the quote from the new testament was this – Matthew 5:38-42 "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you, don't resist him who is evil; but whoever strikes you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. If anyone sues you to take away your coat, let him have your cloak also. Whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and don't turn away him who desires to borrow from you.

      November 28, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Vanessa

    Thank goodness she has been captured. I can hardly believe the callous disregard for little ones she exhibited–knowing that she had OIL ON A BURNER with helpless children in her home–ENTRUSTED to her supposed "care," - even remarking about it while she shopped. She is a murderer. I am relieved the charges stuck and she will pay her debt.

    November 30, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Shawn

    I don't see any guns used in this murder.

    December 3, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. john

    Yet another fine example of the intelligence (re: lack of) found in the blacks.

    December 4, 2012 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Lori

      Yeah, John. Because "the whites" never do anything stupid.

      December 5, 2012 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Colette

      How about the fine example of intelligence (re: lack of) found in your comment john?

      December 7, 2012 at 1:22 am | Report abuse |
  15. ISREAL

    If you child dies in childcare, its the parents fault... Americans will let theyre kids spend more waking hours with day care the with parents. And for what ? a lilttle more money

    December 5, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • America

      Fellow Infidel... Cannot blame the parents. Many have no choice BUT to work and have 2 incomes to support a family. Yes, FOR A LITTLE MORE MONEY so their family can have a roof over their head, can eat, have clothes, buy school supplies, turn on the lights, heat the home in winter... Yes, FOR A LITTLE MORE MONEY. We live in a world where one income usually cannot support a family. You're an idiot to blame the parents for having to work and keep kids in daycare. Don't you think ANY good parent would want to be home with their families, raising them in the safety of their own home? Shame on you. Next time you comment on "Americans", pull your head out and realize that we don't live in a "Third-World" country where $40 can feed a family of 12 for an entire month. To many families, daycare is THE ONLY OPTION, no matter how difficult it is. Maybe our government should spen less money defending and providing AID Isreal and help out it's own citizens more, eh?

      December 7, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
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