Saturday, May 21, 2011

China Arnold, narrowly escapes death penalty after conviction for 'cooking' her month-old baby to death in microwave oven - 21st May 2011

LinkAn Ohio woman convicted of killing her month-old baby daughter in a microwave oven was spared the death penalty and sentenced Friday to life in prison without parole.

Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Mary Wiseman sentenced China Arnold, 31, of Dayton, who psychologists testified showed no signs of serious mental illness.

Arnold declined to make a statement during her sentencing.

Arnold was convicted last week of aggravated murder by the same jury that recommended her punishment. Jurors deliberated about six hours Thursday and Friday.

Prosecutors say Arnold intentionally put 28-day-old Paris Talley in a microwave and turned it on after a fight with her boyfriend. The couple had argued over whether the boyfriend was the infant's biological father.

Defense attorney Jon Paul Rion argued that the evidence pointed as much to the boyfriend as it did to the child's mother, who Mr Rion said was drunk at the time.

After Friday's hearing, Mr Rion told the Dayton Daily News he would appeal. He did not immediately return a message left at his office by The Associated Press.

The prosecutor's office had no immediate comment.

Medical experts testified that the baby died quickly after her temperature reached between 107 to 108 degrees Fahrenheit. They said she probably was in the microwave for more than two minutes.

Dr. Marcella Fierro, retired chief medical examiner for Virginia, said: 'She died because she was overheated. She was cooked'.

It was Arnold's third trial in her daughter's 2005 death. Her first trial ended in a mistrial when new witnesses surfaced just before closing arguments. Read More