Nearly a year later, charges filed against two people accused of setting four-year-old girl on fire
HOUSTON, Texas -- It has taken nearly a year for police in Houston to gather enough evidence to file criminal charges against the two people accused of setting a young girl on fire. One of those charged is the girl's aunt.
James Johnson was home when police surrounded a duplex and arrested his neighbor, Veronica Deneen Harris.
"She seemed like a pretty nice lady," James Johnson said. "I had no idea what was going on."
Harris is charged with serious bodily injury to a child by omission.
She appeared before a judge on Tuesday, February 9th, as did her cousin, Christen Deuante Rodgers. He is charged with injury to a child.
Police say Harris, her four-year-old niece and several other children were staying at a hotel in Mission Bend, Texas in April 2015.
Court records indicate the four-year-old told police she was strapped into a chair by her "Aunt Ronni" and was only wearing a diaper.
Police said while the child was strapped into the seat, Rodgers held a lighter to her stomach and set her on fire.
Police said Harris didn't take her niece to a hospital until the next day.
The little girl suffered burns over 30 to 40 percent of her body.
Police said Harris and Rodgers told them this was all an accident.
It took investigators nearly a year to provide evidence to the contrary, and to file charges.