Jessica Tata was a woman who parents trusted with their kids. But when a fire at her daycare killed four children and injured three more, Jessica Tata went from beloved babysitter to murder suspect. Now it's up to a jury to decide whether the woman cops say left seven kids at home while she went shopping should spend life in prison.
Oh to be on that jury, huh? Jessica Tata has said she didn't intend for the children to die. But can you imagine leaving seven children under 3 home alone and not expecting something bad would happen?
It defies the bounds of logic. Spend a little time with even one child that young, and you know that it would be dangerous to leave them alone for any length of time. You may not know what will go wrong, but you can pretty much guarantee something will. This is the nature of youth. They do not yet contemplate the risk of their actions, and they are unable to calculate evasive maneuvers to avoid danger.
I say this as a parent, someone who won't even leave a fairly responsible 7-year-old home alone so I can run to the post office (which is within walking distance from my house). But Jessica Tata isn't "just" a parent. She's a daycare owner, a woman who positioned herself as an authority on caring for kids. She told moms and dads that they could trust her with their kids. And it was under her care that four children died and three more were seriously injured because they were completely helpless in that fire.
Jessica Tata's murder trial has gone back and forth over the cause of the blaze that took the lives of Elias Castillo, Elizabeth Kojah, Kendyll Stradford, and Shomari Dickerson. Prosecutors say the babysitter left a pot of hot oil on the stove, and it started the fire. Defense attorneys say it was a faulty refrigerator that burned the house down.
But does it matter? Does it really matter if this woman who was charged with taking care of seven kids knew about the fire risk? We have a babysitter who is accused of abandoning seven kids, one as young as 16 months old. As a result, four children died. Case closed.
What do you think should be done with Jessica Tata? Do you think it's fair to say she didn't know something bad would happen to the children?
Image via The Harris County Sheriff's office