Jury told of efforts to save 7 kids in Texas day care fire after owner went shopping

Texas woman on trial for murder

HOUSTON - Prosecutors at the trial of a woman accused of murder after four children died in a fire at her Houston home day care are presenting testimony from neighbors and emotional 911 calls to detail for jurors the frantic efforts to try to save the kids.

It was the 911 call that had jurors in tears and led to a loud sobbing outburst from accused day care owner Jessica Tata, 24. With children crying in the background you could hear Tata telling a 911 operator about the fire.

"Children are dying. I can't see anything. I can't even get there and get them. I can't see anything. My kids are dying. Please hurry. Oh my God!" Tata said in the 911 call.

Investigators say a fire broke out in Tata's kitchen after she left the children alone to go shopping at Target and Walmart in February 2011. Three other children were seriously injured in the fire.

Neighbor John Chesnut told jurors Friday he could hear kids screaming as he entered the home but ultimately couldn't get to them.

Tata's attorneys say she never intended to harm the children, who ranged in age from 16 months to 3 years.

Tata is charged with one count of felony murder, three counts of abandoning a child and two counts of reckless injury to a child. She faces up to life in prison if convicted.


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