Mother gets $1M bond over fire deaths

March 3, 2010 at 12:40 PM
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CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 3 (UPI) -- A judge in Mecklenburg County, N.C., said a woman whose two children died in a house fire will be held on bond of little more than $1 million.

The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer said Wednesday in addition to setting bond for Orgal Opata, Mecklenburg County District Court Judge Regan Miller ruled an attorney will be appointed to the Charlotte mother, who faces murder charges for last weekend's fire.

Gabriel Hawthorne, 1, and Josiah Hawthorne, 2, were killed in Sunday's house fire.

Opata's other children, ages 4 and 7, were able to escape the blaze, which authorities suspect was started by a kerosene heater inside the residence.

Police allege the children were alone inside the home at the time of the fire because Opata, 26, was at another location.

Opata surrendered to authorities after the deadly fire, but has refused interview attempts by investigators.

Besides the two murder charges, Opata is facing three counts of reckless/gross felony child abuse, four counts of exposing a child to fire and one count of burning resulting in serious injury to a firefighter, the newspaper said.

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