Defense rests in Texas day care fire trial

Associated Press
Home day care operator Jessica Tata stands before her verdict at the Harris County Criminal Justice Center Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, in Houston. Tata was convicted of murder in the death of 16-month-old Elias Castillo, one of four children who died in a fire at her home day care after she left them alone with hot oil on the stove while she shopped at Target. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Johnny Hanson)
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HOUSTON (AP) — Defense attorneys have rested in the punishment phase of the trial of a Texas woman convicted of murder in a deadly 2011 fire at her Houston home day care.

Jessica Tata's attorneys presented eight witnesses Friday. Tata did not testify.

Closing arguments will be Monday.

Tata's family and friends told jurors she is a good person who loved taking care of kids.

Prosecutors presented 22 witnesses during the punishment phase, which began Tuesday after jurors convicted Tata of felony murder in one child's death. She faces up to life in prison.

Prosecution witnesses portrayed Tata as an irresponsible day care owner who left the children she cared for alone on many occasions and who ran an unclean facility.

Four children died in the fire and three others were injured.

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