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Daycare Owner Found Guilty of Murder After Fire Kills Four Toddlers

Jessica Tata made a fateful mistake that would eventually cost her years of freedom.  She is also going to have to endure a lifetime of regrets after leaving children unattended as the home they were inside caught on fire.   The fire occurred in February, 2011 at her daycare, killing four children in the process.

The jury only needed four hours to come back with a guilty verdict.  Tata was accused of leaving the house to go shopping, and a pot of oil was left unattended, setting the entire daycare ablaze.  The children who died were all under the age of three, likely too small and confused to know how to find their way to safety.

The children killed were 3-year-old Shomari Dickerson, 20-month-oldElizabeth Kojah, 20-month-old Kendyll Stradford, and 18-month-old Elias Castillo.

According to witnesses at the trial, Tata has a history of setting fires.   She is faced with a maximum sentence of life in prison.   Tata was arrested in 2002 as a high school freshman for setting two fires in her school.    After the most recent fire, Tata fled to Nigeria, but was caught in a month and brought back to the United States to stand trial.  The incident, which took place in Houston Texas, has both shocked the community and led t0 additional reviews of daycare laws in the state.

 


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36 comments

  1. What are laws going to do? People break them.

  2. Appears to be a Nigerian immigrant. True?

  3. EeeeeeeemMM! So, so sad. WHO HURT’S CHILDREN? Precious little helpless children? Patience, love and guidance can change even the worst behaved child. I proved it as a foreign missionary student doing practical training age 23 now 57; at a Babyland home for up to 2 year old abandoned kids in Manchester, Jamaica, WI. On arrival I clearly remember 2 year old Albert with always a mean, angry face. All the kids were afraid of him because he constantly bit and fought them. I took him to task with tender and tough love. My training was three months. Long before my departure: 1) Albert waited at the door to give me red carpet entries smiling as he open the play room door. ) 2) The kids were spilling little food as I showed them “you will be hungry and feel pain.” 3) The staff was amazed. I always believe: Teach children well (change the strategy as needed) and they will lead the way. Each child is an adult in a child’s body. Rest In Peace dear ones. I apologize for some adults actions. God’s daily comfort to their families & everyone who mourn this and other cruelty of our kids. Heaven help us all.

  4. EeeeeeeemMM! So, so sad. WHO HURT’S CHILDREN? Precious little helpless children? Patience, love and guidance can change even the worst behaved child. I proved it as a foreign missionary student doing practical training age 23 now 57; at a Babyland home for up to 2 year old abandoned kids in Manchester, Jamaica, WI. On arrival I clearly remember 2 year old Albert with always a mean, angry face. All the kids were afraid of him because he constantly bit and fought them. I took him to task with tender and tough love. My training was three months. Long before my departure: 1) Albert waited at the door to give me red carpet entries smiling as he open the play room door. ) 2) The kids were spilling little food as I showed them “you will be hungry and feel pain.” 3) The staff was amazed. I always believe: Teach children well (change the strategy as needed) and they will lead the way. Each child is an adult in a child’s body. Rest In Peace dear ones. I apologize for some adults actions. God’s daily comfort to their families & everyone who mourn this and other cruelty of our kids. Heaven help us all.

  5. EeeeeeeemMM! So, so sad. WHO HURT’S CHILDREN? Precious little helpless children? Patience, love and guidance can change even the worst behaved child. I proved it as a foreign missionary student doing practical training age 23 now 57; at a Babyland home for up to 2 year old abandoned kids in Manchester, Jamaica, WI. On arrival I clearly remember 2 year old Albert with always a mean, angry face. All the kids were afraid of him because he constantly bit and fought them. I took him to task with tender and tough love. My training was three months. Long before my departure: 1) Albert waited at the door to give me red carpet entries smiling as he open the play room door. ) 2) The kids were spilling little food as I showed them “you will be hungry and feel pain.” 3) The staff was amazed. I always believe: Teach children well (change the strategy as needed) and they will lead the way. Each child is an adult in a child’s body. Rest In Peace dear ones. I apologize for some adults actions. God’s daily comfort to their families & everyone who mourn this and other cruelty of our kids. Heaven help us all.

  6. This is so sad! Innocent children lost their life because of her selfishness!

  7. Prayer go's out to the family. She should have never been able to have a daycare.She was starting fire in high schoo,.

  8. some one didn’t do a good enough job of checking her background. How did she managed to get a license, with obvious mental problems??

  9. You don’t leave your house with items on the stove. That is common sense. She knew exactly what she was doing and did not care. All those who want to defend her actions should take a moment and think of the horror those innocent babies suffered at the hands of someone who promised to look after them, or at least think of the parents’ pain and suffering.

    She understood her guilt and that is why she fled the country.

  10. This was more than a mistake! It was gross negligence…and death by neglect IS a crime. Especially when you are licensed and paid to NOT be. She made a conscious decision to leave that house. Nothing else needs to be said.

  11. …how does a confirmed arsonist get to open a daycare?

  12. Turia Paigé Lennon

    Those poor kids! How sad!

  13. Omg what the hell was she thinking they should have never let her get her own business if they knew she had a past of setting fires. Someone need to set her ass on fire to let her know how to it felt when those innocent children had to fee..

  14. My heart goes to the parents of the deceased as for Tata she will leave to regret her actions for the rest of her life.

  15. Christina Mskane Brown

    I hope this bytch soul burn foreve.

  16. Douglas Dougie Jones

    Extremely Sad! !!!

  17. I say set the bitch on fire, then go shopping. She doesn’t deserve to see another day.

    • I like your idea, Karen, although it will never happen. “An eye for an eye — good enough to be found in the Bible — good enough for me.”

  18. This is horrifying…! Those poor innocent children couldn’t defend themselves and never stood a chance. She deserves the gas chamber. Life in prison is the easy way out.

    The working class still picks up the tab.

  19. More and more we take comfort in criminalizing mistakes. Though mistakes can be stupid and selfish, there is a real differnece between actual criminal intent and stupid mistake.

    In the course of our lives we all make stupid mistakes, some more stupid than heres. For most of us, our studpid and selfish mistakes do not result the death of anyone–but does that make us any less a criminal if we determine to criminalize stupidity?

  20. Get this b1thch off the street she knows she’s sick!!!!!!!!!

  21. Why was she even allowed to have a daycare if she was a fire starter?

  22. Cathy Thompson Foster

    THIS GIRL HAS MENTAL ISSUES! SHE WAS EXPELLED FROM HIGH SCHOOL FOR HER VULGAR BEHAVIOR AND SETTING TWO FIRES. HER PRINCIPAL DESCRIBED HER AS BEING MEAN AND EVIL. THE STATE OF TEXAS NEEDS TO REVAMP ITS CRITERIA FR CERTIFICATION OF LICENSED DAYCARE PROVIDERS. SHE SHOULD GET LIFE WITHOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF PAROLE!

  23. This monster left those precious babies to perish. Her ugly a** should be executed. Her actions were intentional. May she rot in hell!

  24. Who the hell leaves their day are unattended especially with toddlers and infants…..WTF?

  25. THAT DIRTY ROTTEN TEETH HOE NEED TO DIE, SHE KNEW THEM KIDS WAS GOING TO MESS WITH THAT OIL LAMP.AND PLUS WHY THE BITCH LEAVE THEM UNATTENDEDE? THAY'S WHY I DOn't TRUST DAYCARES.

  26. To go shopping! Wow. High price to pay. R.I.P. to the children.

  27. Thats awful them babies died for nothing! She need to be punished rightfully! Going shopping smh

    • Nothing in the world is that importan to shop for and leave children. She needs to be put to death slowly. Damm shame

  28. Linda Mcrae- Butler

    Wow that is so sad, praying for the families who lost.
    their loved ones.

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