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Crime & Courts

Official says convicted Texas day care owner omitted criminal history on license application

A former Texas licensing official tells jurors a woman convicted of murder after a fire at her home day care killed four children lied about having a juvenile conviction, a criminal history that would have prevented her from getting a child care license.

Testimony continued Wednesday in the punishment phase of Jessica Tata's trial. Tata was convicted Tuesday of one count of felony murder. She faces up to life in prison. Three other children also were hurt in the 2011 fire.

Susan Lahmeyer is a former district director of licensing with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. She tells jurors in Houston that Tata didn't indicate on her licensing application that she had been convicted of arson as a juvenile for starting two fires at her high school.

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