Mother accused of leaving children has charges upgraded

Posted by: Kristian Claus

RAYNE, La. (AP) - Rayne police will upgrade charges against Shaqueta McDade. The original four counts of negligent homicide have been upgraded to four charges of second-degree homicide.

Bond has been set at $250,000 for each charge.

Neighbors of children who died in a house trailer fire say they had told authorities that their mother left the children home alone.

Melinda Miller tells The Advertiser ( she had called police Friday night to report that the children were left without an adult, but they were released back to their mother on Saturday.

Fire broke out in the house trailer shortly before midnight Saturday, killing 8-year-old Jamari McDade, 7-year-old Amous Mouton (MOOH' tawn) Jr., 5-year-old LaShay McDade and 2-year-old Brian Steiner.

Acadia Parish School Superintendent John Bourque told KATC-TV ( that grief counselors would be at Central Rayne Kindergarten and Martin Petitjean Elementary School on Monday.

Copyright 2012 KPLC. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.