Retrial To Begin For Baltimore Woman Once Convicted Of Killing Six Children In Fire

On Monday, a retrial began for a 53-year-old Baltimore woman who was once charged for killer her six children ages 2 months to 12 years in a fire. Tonya Lucas’ murder conviction was overturned after the arson evidence was discredited.

While Lucas’ attorney believe she should be acquitted, Maryland prosecutors still believe there is enough evidence to find her guilty. When the incident occurred in 1992, it was described as one of the “worst in Baltimore’s history.”

House Fire Killed Kids

In recent decades, a faulty arson investigation has led to exoneration or reversed conviction in dozens of cases in the United States. After prosecutors confessed arson science utilized to convict Lucas on arson and murder charges had been discredited last year, she was granted a new trial

During opening statement, Baltimore prosecutors said Tonya Lucas set the fire to get other housing through Red Cross and conceal evidence that she abused her undernourished 2-year-old son.

According to the lawsuit, Lucus told her neighbors who lived in the basement how to escape a fire on the night before the house caught on fire.

“These children, their lives were snuffed out 25 years ago by the actions of their mother. Their livers were stolen from them.”

Prosecutor Rita Wistoff-Ito said Lucas had offered oral sex in exchange for crack cocaine on the morning of the blaze. The man said he saw Lucas setting fire to lighter fluid that had been spread throughout the house.

A seventh child survived the fire, while the other six perished.

Lucas’ attorney, Michele Nethercott, told the jury the original investigation of the fire had been bungled due to lack of analysis and documentation, as well as refuted arson science.

“In the last 25 years, firefighters have learned a lot about hire fire starts, how they develop and how they spread,” Nethercott said in her opening statement.

She blamed the investigators for being more focused on who started the fire than how it started.

Since 1991, there have been a total of 36 exonerations in the United States, according to the National Registry of Exonerations. Those cases included arson, partially because of misleading or false forensic evidence.

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2 Responses to Retrial To Begin For Baltimore Woman Once Convicted Of Killing Six Children In Fire

  1. Latonya Somerville says:

    Tonya Lucas is innocent!!! I know she would never do something like this. It’s no way after,25 years they could find her quilty. She going through enough dealing with cancer.anf the fact her kids are gone..

  2. Betnadette Beckwith-Smith says:

    I know Tonya Lucas did not kill her children. She is a compassionate person and she loved them dearly. I saw the pain she endured over the years. Trying her again, serves no purpose. She never got to mourn the lives of her babies. Let her be. Let her live her life to the fullest.

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