The Box Houston Featured Video

Attorneys involved in the case of a deadly day care fire head to court to debate evidence.

Jessica Tata owned and operated a home based daycare center on the west side of town. On February 24, 2011, oil in a pan left on a hot burner ignited, racing through the house. Four children, all under the age of 3, were killed. Three others were hurt. Soon, it was learned that Tata had left the 7 children alone while she went shopping.

Today in the 180th court, Tata’s attorney,  Mike DeGuerin,  concentrated on whether the landlord had the power to grant permission for a search of the home and Tata’s belongings. “Any evidence that was taken that was taken without the permission of the court or court order is presumable not admissible unless there is some exception to it,” DeGuerin said.

DeGuerin added his biggest challenge will be seating an impartial panel. “The concern is to have jurors that don’t already have an opinion about the case and the judge is going to great lengths to try to make sure we don’t have people on the jury who’ve already made up their minds,” de said.

Tata faces four counts of murder. She will first stand trial for the death of one-year-old Elias Castillo. He was the youngest of the victims.

DeGuerin says aside from dealing with diabetes, Tata was doing as well as can be expected given the circumstances.

Jury selection is expected to begin later this week. Opening arguments are set for next week.

Pre-Trial Motion Hearing For Houston Day Care Owner Jessica Tata  was originally published on

Also On 97.9 The Box:
Celebrities Who’ve Been Diagnosed With Or Passed From COVID-19 [UPDATED FEBRUARY 4]
Celebs attend the 2018 Angel Ball in NYC
56 photos
More From TheBoxHouston