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Oct 23, 2012 5:20 PM by Lauren Molenburg

Jury to be chosen in fatal Texas day care fire

HOUSTON (AP) - Prosecutors and defense attorneys are preparing for the first trial stemming from a fire at a Houston home day care center that killed four children and injured three others.

Jury selection in the felony murder trial of Jessica Tata is set for Tuesday in Houston. Opening statements could be held on Wednesday.

Tata is being tried on a felony murder charge for one of the deaths. She faces up to life in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors say the 24-year-old left the children alone to go to a nearby store when the fire happened. The blaze started when oil in a frying pan left on a stove top burner ignited.

Tata's attorneys say the murder charge is excessive as she never intended to harm the children.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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