Day care operator will have to serve at least 30 years

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Associated Press

Posted on November 20, 2012 at 11:30 AM

HOUSTON (AP) — The great-grandmother of a child who died in a Houston day care fire is taking no satisfaction from the 80-year prison sentence handed down today for the day care operator.

Patty Sparks says, "Nobody wins in this situation." She says her "heart goes out to" the family of Jessica Tata (TAH'-tah), the woman who was sentenced today, and also to the parents of the four children who died in the fire.

Seven children, in all, were left unsupervised at Tata's home when she went to a nearby Target store. Prosecutors say she left a pan of oil cooking on a stove, and it ignited the fire.

A prosecutor says Tata will have to serve 30 years of her sentence before she is eligible for parole. She could have received up to life in prison.

She still faces three more counts of felony murder stemming from the deaths of the other three children.

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APPHOTO TXHOU501: FILE - In this Nov. 13, 2012 file photo, home day care operator Jessica Tata is seen in Houston's Harris County Criminal Justice Center. Tata was sentenced to 80 years Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012 for her felony murder conviction in the death of one of four children killed in a fire at her home day care in Houston. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Johnny Hanson, File) (20 Nov 2012)

<<APPHOTO TXHOU501 (11/20/12)>>

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