Man Enters Guilty Plea in Connection to Fatal Battle Creek Fire

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Jesse Tatum

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — A Battle Creek man pleaded guilty Monday to being an accessory after the fact in a fatal fire that killed an 8-year-old girl.

Michael Roberson, 27, was sentenced to three years of probation for the November 2012 crime, according to Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office.

Roberson drove Jesse Tatum to and from a home that Tatum set on fire Nov. 29, 2012.  Eight-year-old Karrina Johnson was killed during the blaze.


Tatum pleaded guilty to second-degree murder as a habitual offender Dec. 2 and faces up to life in prison.   Roberson’s cooperation was key to bringing himto justice, according to Calhoun County officials.

Tatum set the Young Street home on fire after an argument with Janeen Johnson, Karrina’s mother.   Two other children were in the house during the fire, but managed to escape by jumping out the second story window.


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