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UPDATE: Wis. woman pleads guilty after 3 kids die in fire

UPDATE: Angelica Belen, the mother facing three counts of child neglect resulting in death after three of her four children died in a house fire at 77th and Hicks in West Allis on Thursday, April 11th, pleaded guilty Thursday, July 25th.

Angelica Belen

UPDATED Thursday, July 25, 2013 --- 10:28 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A Milwaukee-area woman who lost three of her four children in a fire this spring after she left them alone in a locked bedroom has pleaded guilty to felony child neglect.

Online court records say Angelica D. Belen of West Allis was convicted Thursday morning. The 25-year-old was accused of leaving her 5-year-old daughter and 4-year-old twin sons locked at home while she went to work.

Court documents say before the fire in April, Belen had twice been warned by a child-welfare worker not to leave her kids alone.

A message left with defense attorney Reyna Morales was not immediately returned.

Belen also faced six misdemeanor counts of child neglect. Those charges were dismissed Thursday, but a judge can consider them at Belen's sentencing hearing in September.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Thursday, July 25, 2013 --- 9:14 a.m.

From our news partner, WITI in Milwaukee:

MILWAUKEE (WITI) – Angelica Belen, the mother facing three counts of child neglect resulting in death after three of her four children died in a house fire at 77th and Hicks in West Allis on Thursday, April 11th, pleaded guilty Thursday, July 25th.

Five-year-old Nayeli Colon and her brothers, four-year-old twins Adrian and Alexis, died in that fire. The children were locked in an upstairs bedroom while their mother, Angelica Belen, was at work. Belen now faces felony charges of child neglect.

Newly-released reports say Belen initially told police her sister was supposed to be babysitting — and she never locked her kids in the room. But later, she said those were lies.

Reports also reveal prior complaints made to the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare about Belen’s parenting. The complaint says the “home was reported to be filthy,” “the children have been seen eating out of the garbage,” and Belen was seen “leaving her three children alone at home.”

The family had been meeting with an in-home case manager once a week. During a visit in February they “discussed proper supervision and how the children should, under no circumstances, be left alone.”

Belen eventually admitted to police that she locked her children in the room because she didn’t want them to hurt themselves or start a fire. She also said she was “afraid that they may get outside and cause the police or social services to be called.”

Before the fire, Belen was facing six charges of child neglect for allegedly leaving her children home alone and in a car in a parking lot.

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UPDATED Thursday, April 25, 2013 --- 11:21 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A Milwaukee-area woman who lost three of her four children in a fire this month after she left them alone in a locked bedroom has pleaded not guilty to charges of felony child neglect.

Online court records say 24-year-old Angelica D. Belen of West Allis waived her preliminary hearing Thursday morning. She's accused of leaving her 5-year-old daughter and 4-year-old twin sons locked at home while she went to work.

Defense attorney Reyna Morales says a not-guilty plea is standard at this stage in a felony case because it allows the legal process to move forward.

Belen also faces six misdemeanor counts of child neglect. Those charges stem from allegations that she left the twins and a 1-year-old son unattended twice last month.

She's being held on $500,000 cash bail.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Sunday, April 21, 2013 --- 9:57pm

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A Wisconsin woman whose three children died in a fire, locked in their bedroom while she was away, grew up in a home marked by fatal child abuse.

Angelica Belen, of West Allis, received numerous warnings and faced multiple charges of neglect before the fire.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports (http://bit.ly/YDZ2qe) the case has more than passing similarities with another case that outraged the community. The newspaper reports that Belen's mother is Dawn Sosa, whose 17-month-old girl was found beaten and starved to death 20 years ago this month.

Belen was 3 years old at the time. Her mother's boyfriend was convicted of beating the child, and her mother pleaded guilty to child neglect.

Belen and her siblings were placed in foster care and bounced from home to home.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press
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UPDATED Tuesday, April 16, 2013 --- 5:40 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A suburban Milwaukee woman is now charged in the deaths of her three children who died in a fire last week after being left home alone.

Twenty-four-year-old Angelica Belen of West Allis was charged Tuesday with three felony counts of child neglect resulting in death.

According to the complaint, Belen told investigators that Thursday was her first day of work and she could not find a babysitter, so she locked the three children in a bedroom.

The fire broke out that afternoon. The bodies of 5-year-old Nayeli Colon and her 4-year-old twin brothers, Alexis and Adrian Colon, were found under a dresser in the bedroom. The children died of smoke inhalation and burns.

Investigators say the electrical fire was caused by a light fixture in the kitchen and was accidental.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Monday, April 15, 2013 --- 3:33 p.m.

WEST ALLIS, Wis. (AP) -- Authorities in suburban Milwaukee have identified the three children who died in a fire last week after being left home alone.

West Allis police said Monday the victims were 5-year-old Nayeli Colon and her 4-year-old twin brothers, Alexis and Adrian Colon. They were found dead after the fire broke out Thursday afternoon.

The mother was arrested on possible charges of child neglect and bail violations. Police have not released her name but they say she's cooperating with the investigation.

Police say the cause and origin of the fire are still being investigated. Authorities say no adult was home when the fire broke out.

The medical examiner's office hasn't released the children's cause and manner of death.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Friday, April 12, 2013 --- 12:18 p.m.

WEST ALLIS, Wis. (AP) -- Officials say the three victims of a house fire in the Milwaukee suburb of West Allis are children and that their mother is in custody.

At a news conference Friday, authorities say twin 4-year-old boys and a 5-year-old girl died in the fire Thursday. Authorities say there was no adult in the home at the time of the fire and that the mother is being questioned.

Agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the state Department of Justice arrived Friday at the burned out home.

The fire comes less than a month after another deadly fire in West Allis. Two young boys died when a home caught fire in the middle of the night. Two other boys escaped.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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Posted Friday, April 12, 2013 --- 10:58 a.m.

WEST ALLIS, Wis. (AP) -- Federal and state investigators are working at a West Allis house where three bodies were found following a fire.

Agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the state Department of Justice arrived Friday at the burned out home.

Rescue crews found the bodies of the three victims Thursday night.

Neighbors tell the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel at least four young children lived in the house, including twin boys. Authorities haven't yet identified the victims.

The fire comes less than a month after another deadly fire in West Allis. Two young boys died when a home caught fire in the middle of the night. Two other boys escaped.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


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