- Associated Press - Monday, September 16, 2019

SAN DIEGO (AP) - A San Diego man whose two children died in a fire at their home has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

Prosecutors said Henry Lopez fell asleep with a lit cigarette, sparking a fire in his Rancho Bernardo home in 2017. His 10-year-old son, Cristos, died from burns and his 7-year-old daughter, Isabella, died from smoke inhalation.

KGTV-TV says Lopez’s attorney contended a defective cellphone, not a cigarette, was the likely cause of the blaze.

In addition to manslaughter, Lopez was found guilty Monday of child endangerment and recklessly causing a fire causing great bodily injury.

He could be sentenced to more than 16 ½ years in prison.

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