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Mother of child killed in July fire ordered to stand trial for child endangerment

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, Sep. 12, 2013, at 1:24 p.m.
  • Updated Thursday, Sep. 12, 2013, at 2:02 p.m.

The mother of a 6-year-old girl who died of after a July house fire was ordered Thursday to stand trial on child endangerment charges.

Prosecutors said Ruthie Lee Bell, 27, left the girl and her two sisters, ages 4 and 7, alone before the fire broke out in their home at 3915 E. Countryside on July 11. Ja’Kara Dickson died three days later.

Authorities said Ja’Kara was playing with a lighter when she accidentally set her clothes on fire, and the flames quickly spread. The other children escaped with the help of a neighbor who heard a smoke alarm.

Bell pleaded not guilty to the charges, and District Judge Ben Burgess set a tentative trial date of Dec. 2.

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