Mom charged with murder children’s arson deaths |

Mom charged with murder children’s arson deaths

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado ” A woman whose estranged husband received three life sentences in a house fire that killed her three children was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of murder.

Deborah Nicholls, 40, was to be advised Thursday of 11 felony charges against her. A grand jury has indicted her on six counts of first-degree murder, three counts of child abuse, illegal drug use and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.

Tim Nicholls was convicted earlier this year of felony murder in an arson in the couple’s home in 2003 that killed Jay, 11, Sophia, 5, and Sierra, 3. Deborah Nicholls was at a bar when the fire broke out.

Arson investigators found traces of an accelerant on the children’s pajamas and an almost empty can of highly flammable cleaning solvent under bushes outside the home.

Prosecutors said the couple needed to collect insurance money to pay off drug debts.

Deborah Nicholls previously was charged with felony attempted theft, drug possession and witness tampering in the case, but that trial was vacated.

In 2003, after investigators ruled the fire an arson, Deborah Nicholls told The Gazette: “Maybe there isn’t an answer and it’s just a horrible, tragic accident. Nobody killed my children, especially my husband.”

The Gazette,

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