MITCHELL, S.D. -- A Mitchell woman was arrested Wednesday, May 20, in connection with an April 22 fire that left a 6-year-old girl dead.
Ayla Barna, 25, faces three counts of abuse of or cruelty to a minor for allegedly leaving three children alone when the fire started.
According court documents, Barna is accused of leaving the house in the late evening and early morning hours of April 22-23 while children ages 7, 6 and 4 remained inside.
Authorities announced in the days following the incident that the fire had been started by "children at the residence who played with a cigarette lighter." The 7- and 4-year-old were saved from the burning house by two men who ran inside. Amyah Barna, 6, was found dead after the fire was extinguished. The affidavit filed this week stated Amyah died as a result of exposure to smoke and noxious fumes caused by the fire.
If convicted on all charges, Barna could face a maximum prison sentence of 40 years and be ordered to pay up to $80,000 in fines.