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Lawyer: Bad Stove Sparked Fatal Day Care Fire

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HOUSTON (AP) — Attorneys for a Texas woman on trial for murder are suggesting that a fire at her home day care center that killed four children may have been sparked by a malfunctioning stove, not any action of her own.

But a forensic electrical engineer who testified for prosecutors Tuesday told jurors that he found no problems after examining the stove in Jessica Tata’s home.

Prosecutors say the fire started after Tata had left the children alone at her Houston home while she shopping in 2011.

Investigators say the blaze started after oil in a pan ignited on a stovetop burner that had been left on. Three other children were injured.

Tata’s attorneys say she didn’t intend to harm the children.

The 21-year-old faces up to life in prison if convicted.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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