Attorney: Fire mom left children alone because of school bus cuts - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Attorney: Fire mom left children alone because of school bus cuts

Melodia Dunn Melodia Dunn

By Lori Brown - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The attorney for the mother whose little children died in a fire while they were home alone is working to shift the blame onto Memphis City School's bus cuts.

Melodia Dunn, 22, appeared in court Friday as her attorney, Mike Working, told a judge she is pleading not-guilty.  Dunn's charges of aggravated child neglect and reckless homicide carry a prison sentence of fifteen to sixty years.

"Obviously there is nothing more severe than dying in this case," prosecutor Bobby Carter said.

LaDareon Dunn, 3, and Cateron Dunn, 2, died after fire that started while they were home alone.  According to Working, neighbors the fire broke out while Dunn was picking up her five-year-old from school, a result of school bus cuts this year.

"I think she was in a position that many poor mothers have been in now that we've canceled busing," Working said. "Obviously you can't let a five-year-old walk down Elvis Presley Boulevard for two miles."

Why didn't Dunn take LaDareon and Cateron with her?

"Obviously, if that's what she did, that would be a very good question," Working said.  "Does making that 10 minute mistake warrant a 50 year prison term?"

Dunn's sister told Action News 5 that shortly after the fire, Dunn left the boys to go shopping a Citi Trends.  But Working says the statement was the rantings of a lunatic.  He requested surveillance of the store, since he's heard she's not in it.

He also requested that Dunn receive a mental evaluation.

Copyright 2009 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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