Mom gets prison sentence after children die in fire | News
Colethia Williams will serve six years in prison. Investigators say she left her four children alone at home when a fire broke out killing three of them and injuring one.
Williams pleaded guilty Monday morning in Bibb county superior court to three counts of involuntary manslaughter and one count of cruelty to children.
Last March Colethia williams was charged with three counts of felony murder and four counts of cruelty to children. A year later those charges changed and Williams took a plea deal.
In exchange for pleading guilty to three counts of involuntary manslaughter and one count of cruelty to children in the second degree she agreed to forty years of probation and to serve the first five to ten years in prison. After she agreed to the deal the judge decided she should serve six years.
District Attorney David Cooke explains the change in charges. "Cases like this when the parent did not mean for it to happen if, they show contrition and true remorse then it's not unusual for district attorneys to allow parents to plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter."
Williams' lawyer Reza Sedghi says they're pleased with the outcome. "At the end of the day it was not intentional. It's sort of a freak incident that occurred. She is suffering everyday, she has a great deal of remorse. In a sense she has a life sentence to deal with when she thinks about what occurred."
An arrest warrant says Williams was at her boyfriend's house when the fire broke out with her four children left alone inside the home.
"Obviously she should not have left the house, but if she was there we don't know if she could have done anything at all." says Sedghi.
He says because Williams doesn't have a previous record, he's hoping the parole board will release her before she serves all six years, but Cooke says he doesn't think she'll get out early.
"I would think in a situation involving three children's deaths that she won't be getting out anytime soon," says Cooke.
In addition to her sentence Williams can't have custody, babysit or be alone with any child under the age of 18.
Cooke says, "My heart goes out to everybody involved especially this little child that lost three siblings and a mom."
Williams has been out on bond since last April and is scheduled to report to prison March 21st.