(07/21/2001)
Janette Ables, who testified against two fellow co-defendants in a federal trial related to the 1997 fatal Weston fire that killed five children, has been denied parole.

Ables remained jailed in Wheeling after a hearing before the West Virginia Parole Board Tuesday, July 10, in Charleston.

The 25-year-old Ables testified during the hearing via a video conferencing hookup with the Ohio County Correctional Complex in Wheeling.

She is presently serving a 3-to-15-year prison term after pleading guilty March 1 to two counts of child neglect resulting in the death of a child.

She entered into a plea agreement and later testified for the prosecution in a trial of the two other defendants. Prosecutors charged the three house mates deliberately set their home on fire to collect insurance money.

The three defendants and two other adults in the house escaped unharmed.

Killed in the fire were, Rayshell N. Ables, age 5, and Jimmy L. Ables, age 3, Seronica Castner, age 10, Kimberly A. Castner, age 9, and Brandon J. Castner, age 8.

According to an Associated Press story, Parole Board member Christie Workman told Ables during the hearing that, in her opinion, "you viewed your own children as expendable."

"I didn't do anything to hurt anybody, my children, or anybody," replied Ables.

Ables went on to say that nobody knew what happened.

"I don't know what happened myself, ma'am," Ables added.

The Brown's have pled guilty to two counts of involuntary manslaughter. Each has been credited for time previously served and released from jail.

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