Mothers face charges in fire deaths

June 21, 2007 at 11:47 AM

PITTSBURGH, June 21 (UPI) -- Two mothers whose young children died in a house fire after being left alone will be charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Shakita Mangham and Furaha Love, both 25, will be charged with involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment, endangering the welfare of children and making false reports to police, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

Mangham lived in the Larimer, Pa., house that burned at 1:20 a.m. June 12 with her four children, Dezekiah Holyfield, 3; Cedano Holyfield Jr., 4; and Daekia Holyfield, 7; who died, and her son, Jevon Irwin, 8, who did not, the Post-Gazette reported.

Two of Love's three children -- Azequel Rankin, 5; and Andre Rankin, 6 -- died in the fire. Her 8-year-old son, Huedon Chambliss, survived.

The two mothers initially told police the children were with a babysitter.

"This is definitely a crime," District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. told the Post-Gazette.

A defense lawyer disagreed.

"A fire broke out. She didn't set that fire," Love's lawyer, Ernest Sharif, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "She may have wanted to be there when the fire started, but even if she were there, the children might not have lived."

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