FAIRFIELD — A Fairfield woman who spent more than a year in jail before prosecutors dropped felony charges for the 2010 deaths of her 2-year-old daughter and three other young children in an apartment fire was in court Wednesday for a new felony case.
Latisha M. James, 25, pleaded not guilty to a robbery charge.
Fairfield police arrested James on Saturday afternoon after a 61-year-old man claimed she used a knife to rob him in front of a North Texas Street business. James took a small amount of cash from the man and she had a knife with her when she was arrested, police said.
James, who is in jail on $45,000 bail, was ordered to return to court Jan. 7, 2013, for a probable cause hearing on the robbery charge.
In 2011, James faced murder charges along with her sister, Shetarra James, when prosecutors abruptly dropped the charges against Latisha James.
Shetarra James was later found guilty of manslaughter and child abuse causing death for the deaths of her three children and Latisha James’ young daughter. The fire at a Delaware Street apartment was sparked by candles being used for lighting because the electricity had been turned off by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. a few days earlier because the sisters had not paid the utility bill. The children had been left unattended in the apartment while the sisters hung out in a nearby parking lot for as long as a half hour.
Earlier this year, Judge Peter B. Foor opted not to send Shetarra James to prison. Instead, he placed her on 10 years of formal probation and suspended a 15-year, four-month prison sentence pending her not running afoul of the law. Shetarra James’ attorney said last week that her former client is doing well on probation.
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