State rests in murder trial of day care owner - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

State rests in murder trial of day care owner

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Grand jurors Doris Au and James Koteras were among the first to hear the evidence against Jessica Tata: how she went shopping and left several children home alone with a pan of oil on a hot burner.

"Just to see some of the evidence that wasn't presented to us in the grand jury," Koteras said.

"Sometimes I forget how the heart actually hurts," Au said.  "It could be my grandbaby.  My heart actually hurts sometimes when I think of the reality of it."

Monday, pathologist Merrill Hines testified four of the seven toddlers in Tata's care died due to complications from smoke inhalation.  The deaths were ruled homicides.

A state day care licensing worker also testified.  She said the state revoked Tata's home day care license after the fire, finding her guilty of neglect.

But the judge struck that guilty-finding testimony from the record.

The state rested its case that afternoon.  The defense will call its first witness Tuesday morning.

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