Marijuana-Seeking Mom Charged in Sons' Deaths

By Tanya Roth, Esq. on January 23, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

An alleged marijuana-seeking mom has been charged in the death of her twin sons in a house fire.

Dalawna Berran-Lett, 32, allegedly locked her boys inside their home for almost an hour while she tried to track down her missing marijuana stash, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

But while Berran-Lett was out on her pot-retrieval mission, her boys turned on the stove in their house. Grease on the stove caught fire, and soon the entire home was engulfed in flames.

Now, Dalawna Berran-Lett is facing involuntary manslaughter charges for the death of her 3-year-old sons, Ky'heir and Dy'heir Arthur. One of the boys died from smoke inhalation and burns; the other died of smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning.

All it took was 15 minutes for the house to catch fire.

Berran-Lett has been charged with involuntary manslaughter. While a manslaughter charge requires malicious intent, also known as malice aforethought, an involuntary manslaughter charge involves recklessness or criminal negligence.

On potential defense that Berran-Lett's lawyer may try to assert relates to the level of recklessness when leaving one's kids alone for a brief period of time. After all, many parents assume that nothing bad could happen if they step away for just a few minutes.

In Berran-Lett's case, she allegedly locked her boys inside her home while she went looking for her marijuana -- which she believed her 15-year-old daughter had taken from her purse. Berran-Lett chose not to bring the boys along because "it was too cold outside," the Post-Gazette reports.

This wasn't the first time that Berran-Lett had left her twins alone at home while she went on a marijuana-inspired trek. She allegedly admitted to police that she'd also recently left the boys alone when she went to buy some cigarette-rolling papers.

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