Mother accused of setting deadly fire pleaded guilty to manslaughter

Posted at: 12/06/2012 7:32 PM
Updated at: 12/07/2012 6:29 PM
By: Berkeley Brean

The mother accused of setting fire to her home, killing four of her children took a plea deal in court Friday.

Bobbi Kugler pleaded guilty to manslaughter, assault and arson.
The plea deal sends her to prison for 7 to 15 years.

Kugler was charged with murder, she plead guilty to manslaughter, but both her lawyer and the district attorney's office say there's a reason for what happened.

It was freezing cold that morning last February, but inside lay four children dead in a fire. On Friday, their mother admitted she set it.

Kyle Steinebach, Assistant District Attorney, said, “There's no disposition that can be imposed by this court that could be a harder disposition that she did to her self by ultimately setting that fire and admitting that she played a role in the deaths of her four children.”

The morning of the fire News10NBC's cameras captured Kugler handcuffed, hysterical and barefoot on the street. It looked like she wanted to get back into the house.

Kugler admitted set fire to a picture, put it on her dresser next to objects that could catch fire. Kugler said she drank four or five 40 ounce bottles of malt liquor and popped a handfull of sleeping pills.

Steinebach said, “Our office looks for justice in this matter. There's never been an allegation in this case that Ms. Kugler intentionally killed her children or intentionally injured anyone in that fire.”

Now she's looking at seven to 15 years in prison.

Michael Lopez, Kugler's Defense Attorney, said, “The whole reason why she came to Rochester was to try to get a better life for her four kids than she had previously been able to provide for them where she was living before and to get her deaf son into the School for the Deaf. And those things obviously weren't able to happen. “

It was difficult to understand everything Bobbi Kugler was saying because she was sobbing uncontrollably when she was answering questions. At one point, the prosecutor asked her if she needed a break. She answered, 'No, I want it over.”

Bobbi Kugler has two other children. Her attorney would not say who was taken care of them. He just said, “That's the family's business.”