Girl Locked In Burning Bedroom By Her Mother Has Died

An 11-year-old girl who was locked in a burning home by her mother resisting an arrest warrant has died.


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- An 11-year-old girl who was locked in a burning home by her mother resisting an arrest warrant has died.

Police arrived last October to the Ophelia Street home of Tonya Fuller-Balletta to present her with a warrant for allegedly writing a bad check to Johnson & Wales University.

Fuller-Balletta became enraged and screamed to her daughters that the trooper was hurting her. The girls tried to defend their mother by hitting and kicking him, and even got a can of pepper spray when their mother demanded it, according to police.

Eventually, the mother forced the trooper outside, and despite pleas from the officer and her estranged husband, retreated with her daughters into a rear bedroom, and set a mattress on fire.

Rescuers pulled the mother and one daughter out a window. But the 11-year-old had hidden in a closet, and was not rescued until firefighters got in the room. She suffered second- and third-degree burns over half her body in the ordeal. The girl died on Monday at Hasbro Children's Hospital.

Fuller-Balletta was charged with first degree arson and other felony counts. A spokesman for the state attorney general says those charges will be revised due to the girl's death.

On the same day her daughter died, a competency exam determined the mother, a former candidate for governor, was incompetent to stand trial.