Mississippi Woman Pleads Guilty in Deaths of Four Children in Fire while She was at Club

YAZOO CITY, Miss. (AP) -- A mother who lost four children in a 2003 house fire after allegedly leaving them alone to go to a nightclub pleaded guilty Thursday to negligent manslaughter.

Clara Bell, who sobbed during the brief sentencing hearing, was ordered to spend two years in prison.

Police say Bell, then 27, and her sister, Eugenia Bell, then 18, went to the Outer Limits club in October 2003 and left behind six children, the oldest of whom was 10. A child playing with a lighter set the blaze, the fire marshal said.

Four of Clara Bell's five children died, as did Eugenia Bell's 1-year-old son. Eugenia Bell is scheduled to stand trial later this year on one charge of negligent manslaughter.

Clara Bell had no comment as she was led from the Yazoo County Courthouse after sentencing by Circuit Judge Jannie Lewis.