Mother of 3 boys killed in fire released on bond - CBS46 News

Mother of 3 boys killed in fire released on bond, police looking for babysitter

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Rockell Coleman Rockell Coleman
DEKALB COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

A mother charged with murder after a fire killed three of her sons was released on bond Monday night.

Rockell Coleman, 28, went before Judge Gregory A. Adams in DeKalb County on Monday for a bond hearing.

Police say Coleman left her five young boys, ages 3 through 10, alone in their home and went out for the evening.

A fire broke out at that home around 11 p.m. Coleman's two youngest children died at the scene from smoke inhalation, a third child died a few days later in the hospital from the same.

Investigators claim Coleman told them a friend, an adult, Tanisha Sims was supposed to be watching the boys for the night, that weekend and the following weekend.

Police said the number she gave them for Tanisha was disconnected.

But defense witness Bobby Dennis testified Monday that the number works and he has communicated with Sims since the fire. Further, Dennis testified under oath that he talked to Sims the night of the fire on a phone line from the home.

CBS46 was able to locate Sims' family and spoke to them by phone the day after the fire. At the time, they didn't know where their daughter was.

The defense asked for a personal recognizance bond, meaning Coleman would give her word she will show up at her court hearings. The state wanted Judge Adams to deny Coleman's bond altogether.

In the end, with everything taken into account, the judge decided to grant Coleman bond and set it at $30,000 cash or property.

This would allow Coleman to get out of jail in time for her sons' funerals, scheduled Saturday.

If she couldn't meet the financial burden of bond, the judge said he would direct the DeKalb County Sheriff to bring her to a location where she could have a private wake with her sons, on a time limit.

However, Coleman was released from jail Monday night.

Meanwhile, the prosecution immediately began taking a deeper look into Tanisha Sims and her whereabouts the night of the fire.

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