An Oregon woman, whose son recently died in a house fire at her home, was previously convicted of child neglect and has reportedly admitted to being high on marijuana the day her son was killed.
Niya Sosa-Martinez, 23, appeared before a judge Monday. She was arraigned on charges of second-degree manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a minor.
KOIN reports Sosa-Martinez’s home, in the Oregon town of Keizer, caught fire Friday. She escaped the flames but her four-year-old son was killed. An autopsy on the boy’s body revealed he died of smoke inhalation.
The cause of the fire has not been released, but prosecutors told KPTV they have evidence that will show she recklessly caused the death of her son.
Prosecutors also told the judge Monday that Sosa-Martinez admitted to being high on marijuana that Friday.
Some neighbors who witnessed the fire said Sosa-Martinez acted strange that day.
“The worst part about it, she didn't show any emotions,” said Dianne Petrovich, “She went over and sat in the gazebo and was texting on her phone while everybody was trying to get in and get her child.”
That account differs from at least one neighbor who said she was visibly upset.
“The mother was out there just hysterical,” said Jacob Alvis. “I mean she was just so upset, rightfully so.”
Sosa-Martinez also has a six-year-old daughter who was at school the day of the fire. That child is now in protective custody.
Court documents obtained by KGW indicate that Sosa-Martinez had been convicted of child neglect twice in 2011. One incident involved both of her children. The other listed only her daughter as the sole victim.
She also has convictions for theft and marijuana possession dating back to 2010, and records indicate she was on probation at the time of the fire.
Sosa-Martinez was also charged Monday with criminally negligent homicide and second-degree child neglect.
The judge ordered her held without bail. She is due back in court next month.