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Mother accused of setting fire that killed four children in court Thursday

Posted at: 11/08/2012 7:23 AM
Updated at: 11/08/2012 8:30 PM
By: Amanda Ciavarri

The Rochester mother accused of setting the fire that killed four of her children was in court Thursday morning. Bobbie Kugler is accused of setting the fire last February on Grape Street. Kugler is charged with second degree murder and arson in the deaths of her children, Gage Reavey and Greg, Kandee and Kaiden Kugler.

There are more than 20 hours of tapes that are part of the case. The defense basically said that when investigators questioned Kugler about the fire they were lying to her, now this is an interrogation technique, but the defense is trying to argue that they took it too far and broke the law when it comes to due process. The prosecution called the investigators to the stand Thursday and News10NBC heard them say they did not intentionally lie to Kugler.

Kugler is accused of lighting pictures of her boyfriend on fire and throwing them onto a dresser full of flammable material. One investigator says he told Kugler when questioning her that the pictures alone couldn't have started the fire.

On Thursday, the judge said that the initial investigation they conducted told them that, but later, after the arrest, another test showed that the pictures could have caused the fire.

The other issue was if police were invited into Kugler's apartment in Poughkeepsie the day of the arrest. That is where she was staying after the fire. Investigators say they were, but Kugler's 15-year-old cousin who was there that day says they weren't.

Kyle Steinebach, Assistant District Attorney, said, “I think some of what she testified is contrary to what's on the audio tape. She is her cousin, she was living with her for a period of time. She is her cousin, she was living with her for a period of time. She obviously cares for her, she has known her her whole life and doesn't want her to get in trouble she said that point blank on the stand.”

The defense team did not want to comment on the hearing. The judge did not make a decision on the statements and recordings discussed Thursday. There are 23 hours of recordings so he wants to review them before making a decision. Some of it was while she was in the police car being brought back to Rochester. The judge scheduled a court date to rule on the statements on December 18.