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Mom charged with twins' fire death

Jan. 23, 2013 at 5:19 PM   |   Comments

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- A Pittsburgh-area woman whose twin sons died in a fire has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Dalawna Berran-Lett of North Braddock, 32, was also charged with endangering the welfare of children and reckless endangerment, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. She surrendered to Allegheny County police on Tuesday.

Ky'heir and Dy'heir Arthur, her 3-year-old twins, were killed in a fire Jan. 4 that gutted Berran-Lett's rented wood-frame house. Investigators say the boys, left by themselves for more than an hour, started the fire by turning on a burner on the grease-covered stove.

Berran-Lett allegedly told police she left the boys because she believed her teenage daughter had stolen her marijuana and wanted to find her. She said she did not want to take the boys out in the cold so she locked them into the house.

Investigators said that she admitted leaving the boys alone in late December and said on that occasion she came home to find the house full of smoke because they had taken some ribs from the refrigerator, placed them on a burner and turned it on.

R. Blaine Jones II, her lawyer, was with Berran-Lett when she surrendered, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.

"I just received a copy of the criminal complaint and will have the opportunity to review the legal aspects of the case while allowing her to take the opportunity to try to heal," Jones said. "She is in the state of complete shock. She just buried her babies on Saturday."

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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