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 pleaded no contest Wednesday to a felony theft charge.
Latisha M. James, 25, was into the second day of a jury trial on robbery and weapons charges when she agreed to the plea deal.
James was arrested in December 2012 after a 61-year-old man claimed she used a knife to rob him of $10 in front of a North Texas Street business. On the first day of trial, the victim could not identify James as the assailant.
James, who is in jail on $45,000 bail, will remain locked up at least until she is sentenced April 10.
In 2011, James faced murder charges along with her sister for their role in a fire that killed James’ daughter and her sister’s three children.
The fire at a Delaware Street apartment was sparked by candles being used for lighting because the electricity had been turned off a few days earlier by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. because the sisters had not paid the utility bill. The children were left unattended in the apartment while the sisters were out in a nearby parking lot for as long as half an hour.
Prosecutors eventually dropped the charges against James. Her sister was found guilty last year of several felony charges and Judge Peter B. Foor placed her on probation.
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