Police Say Mother Microwaved Her Baby

You think you’ve heard it all… But here’s another interesting story that begs a read… I’ve highlighted my favorite part…

From James Hannah, Associated Press Writer:

DAYTON, Ohio – A mother was arrested on suspicion of murdering her newborn daughter by microwaving the baby in an oven. China Arnold, 26, was jailed Monday on a charge of aggravated murder, more than a year after she brought her dead month-old baby to a hospital. Bail was set Tuesday at $1 million.

“We have reason to believe, and we have some forensic evidence that is consistent with our belief, that a microwave oven was used in this death,” said Ken Betz, director of the Montgomery County coroner’s office.

He said the evidence included high-heat internal injuries and the absence of external burn marks on the baby, Paris Talley.

Arnold was arrested soon after the baby’s death in August 2005, then was released while authorities investigated further. Betz said the case was difficult because “there is not a lot of scientific research and data on the effect of microwaves on human beings.

The death was ruled homicide by hyperthermia, or high body temperature. The absence of external burns ruled out an open flame, scalding water or a heating pad as the cause, Betz said.

Arnold’s lawyer, Jon Paul Rion, said his client had nothing to do with her child’s death and was stunned when investigators told her that a microwave might have been involved.

“China — as a mother and a person — was horrified that such an act could occur,” Rion said.

The night before the baby was taken to the hospital, Arnold and the child’s father went out for a short time and left Paris with a baby sitter, Rion said. The mother didn’t sense anything out of the ordinary until the next morning, when the child was found unconscious, Rion said.

Arnold has three other children.

In 2000, a Virginia woman was sentenced to five years in prison for killing her month-old son in a microwave oven. Elizabeth Renee Otte claimed she had no memory of cramming her son in the microwave and turning on the appliance in 1999. Experts said that Otte suffered from epilepsy and that her seizures were followed by blackouts.

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  1. A woman was sentenced Monday to life in prison without the chance for parole for burning her baby daughter to death in a microwave after fighting with her boyfriend. Common Pleas Judge Mary Wiseman lashed out at 28-year-old China Arnold, who opted to watch her sentencing from a side room on a monitor.

    “No adjectives exist to adequately describe this heinous atrocity,” Wiseman said. “This act is shocking and utterly abhorrent for a civilized society.”

    The judge rejected a plea by Arnold’s attorneys for a minimum sentence of life in prison with the chance of parole after 25 years. A jury last week spared Arnold the death penalty when it couldn’t reach a consensus.

    “I am innocent of these charges,” Arnold said in a statement read by her attorney, Jon Paul Rion.

    Arnold was convicted Aug. 29 of aggravated murder in the death of month-old Paris Talley in 2005. Prosecutors said she intentionally put her baby in the microwave after a fight with her boyfriend. The couple had argued over whether the boyfriend was the biological father.

    It was Arnold’s second trial. Her first ended in a mistrial when new witnesses surfaced.

    Rion has asked for a third trial, saying a former cellmate who said Arnold confessed has now changed her story. Rion said he’s also found additional witnesses who point to someone else being responsible for killing the baby.

    The judge hasn’t ruled on the motion for a new trial.

    Rion said Arnold loved her baby “with all of her heart and more” and regrets drinking the night of her baby’s death to the point of not remembering what happened.

    “We have a mother who has lost her own daughter,” Rion said. “That will plague her and follow her like a shadow for the rest of her life and into the next.”

    Prosecutor David Franceschelli told Wiseman that Arnold has shown no genuine remorse.

    “The only remorse here is she got caught,” Franceschelli said.

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