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A woman who had been charged in connection with a fire that killed her daughter, nephew and two nieces in Fairfield in 2010 is set to return to court today — this time to face robbery charges. Latisha James, 25, will be arraigned this afternoon in Solano County Superior Court after being arrested on suspicion of robbing a 61-year-old woman at knifepoint in the 1700 block of North Texas Street at about 2 p.m. Saturday, according to the district attorney’s office.
James was taken into custody as she allegedly tried to flee into a nearby trailer park, according to police. She was identified by a witness as the robber and found to be in possession of a kitchen knife, police said. James and her sister, Shetarra James, had been charged by Solano County prosecutors in connection with a fire in the 700 block of Delaware Street on April 28, 2010, that killed Latisha’s 2-year-old daughter and Shetarra’s son and two daughters, ages 1, 2, and 4.
Fire investigators said the blaze was likely caused by candles that were left burning in the apartment while the James sisters went outside. Latisha James told police the night of the fire that she and her sister had gone to charge their cellphones in a laundry room because their electricity had been shut off, a police sergeant testified in the sisters’ preliminary hearing.
Prosecutors dismissed involuntary manslaughter charges against Latisha James in July 2011 as the case was set to go to trial, saying they planned to prosecute Shetarra first and could try Latisha afterward. Shetarra James was convicted in November 2011 of four counts of involuntary manslaughter and four counts of child endangerment and was sentenced in February to 10 years of felony probation.
Latisha James has not yet been charged a second time in connection with the fatal fire. She is set to be arraigned on the robbery charges at 1:30 p.m. today at the Solano County Hall of Justice in Fairfield, according to the district attorney’s office.
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