Photo: Pat Sullivan, STF / AP
Tata is a 24-year-old Nigerian-American who used to own a Childcare center in her Texas home in U.S. She was found guilty of murder of children left in her care and was sentenced to 80 solid years imprisonment.
Prosecutors said that on February 24, 2011, Tata left a pan of oil on the stove top cooking while she went shopping at a nearby store, and left the children unattended. 16-month-old Elias Castillo and three other toddlers died after Tata left them unsupervised.
Eight witnesses testified for Tata during the punishment phase of trial and twenty-two witnesses testified for prosecution, citing that Tata ran an unclean facility where soiled diapers and vomit were scattered on the floor. neighbours testified they heard the children crying during the fire incident, and their attempts to rescue them were unsuccessful.
Tata fled to Nigerian after the incident, but was hunted down and brought back to U.S. in March 2011. She was specifically tried for the death of 16-month-old Elias Castillo, the youngest victim. Her attorneys said she never intended to hurt the children who were killed.
It took jurors eight hours to decide on punishment. She also faces additional felony counts and other charges in relation to the other children killed and injured in the blaze. There were seven children when the fire started, 4 died and 3 survived. She will be eligible for parole in 30 years. She was also ordered to pay a $10.000 fine.
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