- Associated Press - Friday, October 30, 2015

HARTSVILLE, S.C. (AP) - A South Carolina mother charged with homicide by child abuse in a mobile home fire that killed her four children faces sentencing after pleading in the case.

Local media outlets report Hope Hawkins of Hartsville entered an Alford plea Wednesday. An Alford plea does not admit guilt, but concedes there is enough evidence for a guilty verdict.

Hawkins will be sentenced after a pre-sentencing report is completed. A conviction for homicide by child abuse carries a sentence ranging from 20 years to life in prison.

Authorities say Hawkins left the children - ranging in age from 10 months to 4 years - at home alone when the fire broke out in 2013. Hawkins said she was outside in the yard at the time.

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