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Nursery worker sentenced to 80 years over fire tragedy

JAILED: Jessica Tata

A TEXAS woman was sentenced to 80 years in prison over the death of one of four children killed in a fire at her home day care.

The court heard that in February 2011, Jessica Tata, who was found guilty of the murder of 16-month-old Elias Castillo last week, left six young children at her nursery 'to go shopping', upon her return she saw a fire had spread through the premises.

The tragic incident also claimed the lives of Shomari Dickerson, 3, 20-month-old Elizabeth Kojah, 20-month-old Kendyll Stradford. Alongside the four fatalities, two other children were left critically injured.

After an investigation it was revealed that the fire was caused by a pot of oil that was left unattended on the kitchen stove.

The 24-year-old was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine and will have to serve 30 years of her sentence before she is eligible for parole.

Patty Sparks, Elias’ great-grandmother, reportedly said on Tata's conviction: “Nobody wins in this situation."

“My heart goes out to the Tata family and those precious mothers and fathers who lost their babies.”

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