Day care owner Jessica Tata accused of theft

Jessica Tata appeared in court earlier this year

September 27, 2011 12:59:09 PM PDT
The day care owner facing murder charges after four children died in a fire at her establishment is now facing new, unrelated charges.

Jessica Tata is charged with theft. According to court documents, she is accused of stealing food stamps worth somewhere between $1,500 and $20,000 from December 1, 2007 through February 28, 2011. The theft charge was filed on September 1. No bond has been set in the case.

Tata has pleaded not guilty to the four murder charges against her. She has previously pleaded not guilty to five other charges in connection with the fire at her west Houston day care in February that killed four toddlers -- Shomari Dickerson, Elias Castillo, Elizabeth Kajoh and Kendyll Stradford. Tata was not in the home at the time the fire broke out.

Her first trial is scheduled to begin on January 23, 2012.