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Charges dropped for day care provider convicted in baby death

Prosecutors say there is no way to extend her 80-year sentence even with more trials

Associated Press

HOUSTON — Prosecutors on Friday dismissed remaining murder charges against a Houston day care provider who has already been sentenced to 80 years in prison for the death of one of the children she left alone while she went shopping.

A jury convicted Jessica Tata of murder in the death of 16-month-old Elias Castillo. She was indicted on nine charges, including four counts of murder, connected to the February 2011 fire in which four toddlers died and three others were injured. Authorities say hot oil Tata left on the stove caught fire while she was out shopping at a nearby Target and the seven children were home alone.

Jurors "heard about all of the kids. All seven were mentioned from beginning to end," Harris County Assistant District Attorney Steve Baldassano told the Houston Chronicle ( "I think the 80-year sentence reflected that."

There is no way for her to get a longer sentence even if all the trials are held, he added.

"There's really no reason to drag the families through all of that again," Baldassano said, adding that there is no statute of limitations on murder so prosecutors could always refile the charges later.

Associated PressCopyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Now that State District Judge Marc Brown has approved dismissing the remaining charges, Tata can be transferred from the Harris County jail to prison.

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Serena Leblond Serena Leblond Saturday, January 26, 2013 2:24:48 PM why waste the states money...just put her to death! She's not worth the time n money the state has to dish out for her up-keep in prison.
Rudy Hendrix Rudy Hendrix Saturday, January 26, 2013 3:00:33 PM DON"T dismiss them Nole Prosse so if so kind of legal problem comes up on this case you can bring back the charges...
Joey Velez Joey Velez Saturday, January 26, 2013 5:10:20 PM I thought humans were more evolved than this. Killing her is not going to help anyone. Prisons are delivered a specific amount every month as if they have already have the max amount of prisoners. Besides, enough blood has already been spilled on her account. Let her reflect on that for the rest of her life.
Ray Cowart Ray Cowart Saturday, January 26, 2013 5:59:47 PM Save the taxpayers money, put the worthless bitch to death!
Fran Brashier Fran Brashier Saturday, January 26, 2013 7:29:03 PM we had something like this in our community recently what a tragic loss of lifesThree-year-old twins die in house fire after mother 'left them home alone to retrieve stolen marijuana'. By SNEJANA FARBEROV. PUBLISHED: 14:30 EST, 23 January 2013 | UPDATED: 16:50 EST, 23 January 2013. Comments (46) Share Family tragedy: Dalawna Berran-Lett, center, was charged with involuntary manslaughter after police say she left her twin boys home alone before they died in a grease fire. A Pittsburgh-area woman has been arrested after police say she left her three-year-old twin boys home alone before they died in a house fire, while she was trying to retrieve marijuana stolen by her 15-year-old daughter. On Tuesday, 32-year-old Dalawna Berran-Lett was charged with involuntary manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child. Her attorney says the North Braddock woman remains in shock from laying her twins to rest on Saturday. The boys, Ky'heir and Dy'heir Arthur, died in the January 4 blaze. Investigators believe the children started the fire while trying to cook food.. Police say the boys nearly sparked a blaze trying to prepare ribs in December when they were left alone by Berran-Lett for about 20 minutes. Police say Dy'heir, who died of burns and smoke inhalation, was found in the scorched kitchen, while his brother, who died of smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning, was discovered in a second-floor bedroom. Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Z. Zappala Jr said last week that the toddlers died in a grease fire. According to the criminal complaint cited by, about two weeks before the tragedy, Berran-Lett left her children home alone and returned to find the house filled with smoke. Berran-Lett told detective Steve Hitchings that she needed to buy rolling paper to smoke marijuana and was gone for 20-30 minutes. Comments (46) Share Upon her return, the mother told police that she discovered her boys watching TV. She said that they got a rack of ribs out of the freezer, put it on the stove, turned on the burner and tried to cook them. On January 4, Berran-Lett said that she suspected her 15-year-old daughter, Mariah, had stolen a baggie of marijuana from her purse when the teen failed to return home from school on time. According to the complaint, the 32-year-old said she did not went to take her boys outside because 'it was too cold,' so she locked them inside the house and left shortly before 3pm to find her daughter and the missing cannabis, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. Read more: Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook.
Serena Leblond Serena Leblond Sunday, January 27, 2013 4:45:08 PM @Joey...the tax payers have to pay for each person in jail...put MY MONEY TO BETTER USE !

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