The mother of six of seven children killed in an apartment fire was charged Tuesday with involuntary manslaughter after investigators discovered she was visiting a neighbor at the time, a prosecutor said.
Melinda Ragland was at an apartment about 80 yards away when the blaze started, prosecutor John Weglian said.
The children, ages 6 months to 7 years, died of smoke inhalation Oct. 24 after the fire started on a mattress in an upstairs bedroom. Investigators said a child playing with a candle, lighter or matches started the blaze. Six siblings and a cousin were killed.
Ragland could get two to 10 years in prison on each of seven counts of involuntary manslaughter if convicted.