25 years for fatal fire: Mother sentenced for murder
Akeevia Lajoseia Abner made a decision to leave three children home alone one evening last fall and she’ll spend the next 25 years behind bars because of it.
Abner, charged in the deaths of three toddlers last November, plead guilty Wednesday to three counts of reckless murder when she signed an agreement between the courts and her attorney, Thomas B. Brown.
Abner was also sentenced Wednesday and was ordered to serve a prison term of 25 years on each of the three counts with the sentences to be served concurrently, according to court documents.
District Attorney Steve Billy said he was satisfied with the plea and in the sentencing by Judge Bradley Byrne.
“This was a good plea and we’re satisfied with the outcome of the agreement and the sentencing,” Billy said. “She will be eligible for parole at some point during that time — generally after about 10 years.”
Akeevia’s sister, Tekeevia Lajoseialan Abner, was also charged in the case that left three children dead following a house fire in Atmore.
The fire killed 3-year-old Aniyia Abner, 3-year-old Takia Abner and 22-month-old Michael Coleman — who were left alone in the home at the time of the fire.
Both Abner women were taken into custody following an investigation by staff members of the Alabama Fire Marshal’s office. The initial report from that investigation indicated the fire began after a stove was left unattended in the home.
Wade Hartley is serving as the attorney representing Tekeevia Abner, court officials said.
During the course of their incarceration at the Escambia County Detention Center, the twin mothers had made application for youthful offender status in connection with the charges against them.
However, with that status not granted for Akeevia Abner, she faced sentencing on the reckless murder charged under adult law.
“She could have been face 10 years to life on each count,” Billy said. “I guess anytime you get sentenced to more than 20 years, the Department of Corrections could consider that a life sentence.”
Hartley could not be reached for a comment as of press time Friday.
No date has been set for the transfer of Akeevia Abner to a state-run facility. Typically, officials say, transfer should occur within 30 days of sentencing. The only facility equipped to incarcerate women prisoners is Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women located in Wetumpka near Montgomery.