Mother acquitted of murder charges in fatal fire

November 18, 2011 10:26:42 AM PST
A jury has acquitted a Fairfield woman of murder charges in the deaths of four children in an apartment fire.

But the same Solano County Superior Court jury on Thursday convicted 25-year-old Shetarra James of four counts of involuntary manslaughter and four counts of felony child endangerment.

Authorities say James left her three children, ages 1 to 4, and her sister's 2-year-old daughter unattended for about a half an hour in the apartment with burning candles on April 28, 2010 before it went up in flames.

Three of the children were strapped in strollers. The apartment was apparently without electricity because the Pacific Gas & Electric Co. bill had not been paid.

Prosecutors dismissed manslaughter and child abuse charges against James' sister, 24-year-old Latisha James. She, too, was allegedly outside the apartment when the fire broke out.


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