Belen was sentenced to 18 years in prison and 18 years of extended supervision for three felony counts of child neglect related to her three children who died in a blaze while they were locked inside an upper second floor bedroom.
By H. Nelson Goodson
September 27, 2013
Milwaukee, WI - On Friday, Angelica D. Belen, 24, was sentenced to 18 years in prison and 18 years of extended supervision for three felony counts of child neglect in connection with last April's West Allis house fire that killed three of her children. Belen had been also charged in late March with six misdemeanor counts of child neglect for two separate incidents. The misdemeanor charges were dimissed and won't be prosecuted in the future, but those charges were read during her sentencing for child neglect.
Belen was facing up to 40 years in prison and up to $100,000 for three counts of child neglect.
The criminal complaint states, Belen admitted to police that she locked her three kids in an upper bedroom so they wouldn't mess up her house or running the risk for neighbors to notice they were home alone. She apparently was on her first day of work and couldn't find a babysitter. Belen decided to go to work after locking Alex and Adrian Colón ages 4 and Nayeli Colón, 5, in the bedroom, according to the complaint.
Fire investigators confirmed, that the upstairs bedroom door where the children's burnt bodies were found was locked from the outside. The fire started after an electrical short ignited a blaze behind a wall under the bedroom. The children were trapped inside the bedroom and died of smoke inhalation and suffered severe burns, according to the Milwaukee County medical examiner's report.
A fourth child survived, the youngest was with Belen's estranged husband, Wilfredo Belen who took an extra dayoff to take care of the baby. Wilfredo had filed for a divorce.