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Georgia mother facing life in prison re felony charges

The decisions that Georgia parents must struggle with are far from easy, but many likely hope that their choices are the best that they could make in any given circumstance.  A mother is now facing felony charges for the tragic death of three of her children in an apartment fire. Her other two children survived, but with injuries.

For reasons that the authorities have not disclosed, the mother's five children aged 3 to 10 years old were left unattended in the family's apartment. While the mother was gone, a fire broke out in the building in which they resided. The source of that devastating fire is unclear.

Police originally charged the mother for allegedly abandoning her children, but on closer examination of the law -- which dictates that child abandonment charges are only appropriate for children aged 1 and under -- the charges were dropped. Instead, she was charged with child cruelty, a felony. Legally, if a death occurs while a felony is taking place, then that death is considered a murder. As such, police have charged her with felony murder in the deaths of her sons.

Incidents such as this are particularly heartbreaking, and it is possible to imagine that there may be no greater pain that a parent can feel than the loss of his or her children. Despite that, this Georgia mother could possibly be facing a lifetime behind bars if convicted of the felony charges for the tragic deaths of her sons. Although she is surely still be struggling through the grieving process, she would likely benefit from taking a close and careful review of the charges alongside her counsel. As she still has two surviving sons to care for, doing so can help her determine how to proceed in order to garner the most favorable outcome possible from this situation.

Source: ajc.com, "3rd child dies after DeKalb fire; mom faces additional murder charge", Dec. 16, 2014

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