MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WSAU-Wheeler News) - A suburban Milwaukee woman pleaded guilty today to leaving three of her kids home alone just before they died in a fire.
25-year-old Angelica Belen of West Allis struck a plea deal in which she was convicted of three counts of felony counts of causing death by child neglect. Six misdemeanor child neglect charges were dropped – but they can be considered when Belen is sentenced on September 13th.
Prosecutors said Belen was about to leave for her first day at a new job on April 12th, when she locked four-year-old twin boys Adrian and Alex Colon in a bedroom along with their five-year-old sister Nayeli. They died in a blaze that was apparently started by an electrical problem in the home’s kitchen. A fourth child, a one-year-old boy, was away with his father at the time. The misdemeanor charges resulted from an incident in late March when Belen and another child went into a store, and three other kids were left in her car. The four-year-old twins got out and walked around the parking lot, and another vehicle almost hit them.
Before the fire, officials said Belen was warned twice by a child welfare worker not to leave her kids alone. On March 28th, officials ruled that Belen’s kids were found to be in need of protective services – but she was allowed to keep them anyway.