Local News

Mother Of Children Who Died In Onslow Fire Allowed To Attend Funeral Services

Posted July 15, 2003 5:19 a.m. EDT

— Two days before the funerals for six children who died in a mobile home fire, the mother of five of the children is in jail on forgery charges.

Mary Alice Turner, who went by the name Lisa Jones since moving from Johnston to Onslow County, was arrested Monday on eight counts of forgery and uttering, said Sampson County Sheriff Jim Thornton.

The warrants were issued in March, a month after Turner moved to the Midway Park area east of Jacksonville.

Turner is also wanted in Johnston County for six counts of forgery and uttering and five counts of worthless checks, said Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell.

Bizzell said his department wouldn't charge Turner until after her children's funerals. Turner also faces charges in Wayne County.

Turner's infant granddaughter also died in the fire and four of her children remain hospitalized.

Relatives have scheduled a memorial service for the children Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Robinson Funeral Home in Clinton. A funeral is scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday at Clinton Middle School. Turner will be allowed to go the visitation services and funeral services, but authorities will be on hand.

Lamont Oates II, 13-year-old Dorene Oates, 12-year-old Quanita Oates, 2-month-old Angela Turner and 2-month-old Diamond Turner died in the fire. Angela Turner was the daughter of 15-year-old Amanda Oates, who also died, a family friend said.

Four children were injured: 9-year-old Lauren Turner, 8-year-old Anthony Oates, 7-year-old Sherita Oates and 6-year-old Latasha "Bunny" Oates. They were in critical condition Monday at the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill.

District Attorney Dewey Hudson hasn't decided whether he will charge Turner's 11-year-old son, who started the fire while trying to light a candle.