American woman guilty of microwaving baby daughter to death

Jurors in a woman's third trial found her guilty today of burning her baby daughter to death in a microwave oven.

Jurors in a woman's third trial found her guilty today of burning her baby daughter to death in a microwave oven.

China Arnold, 31, was convicted in Dayton, Ohio of aggravated murder for the death of 28-day-old Paris Talley in August 2005.

Arnold could receive the death penalty. The sentencing phase will begin on Monday.

Arnold's first trial ended in a mistrial. She was found guilty in the second trial, but that conviction was reversed last year. An appeals court found there was misconduct by prosecutors and that the trial court made an error by not allowing a witness to testify in Arnold's defence.

Prosecutors said Arnold intentionally put the baby in the microwave after a fight with her boyfriend. The defence had argued that someone else was responsible.

Medical experts testified that the baby died after her temperature reached 107 to 108F (around 42C) and that she probably was in the microwave for more than two minutes, dying quickly afterwards.

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

Assistant Prosecutor Dan Brandt told jurors in court that Arnold's actions were "even more purposeful" than a killing with a gun or knife, the Dayton Daily News reported.

"Baby Paris is without life, but she's not without a voice," Brandt told jurors in closing arguments. "Please listen to her."

Brandt said Arnold had to carry the baby over, place her in the microwave, shut the door and press buttons. Then she waited while her child cooked to death, Brandt said.

Defence lawyer Jon Paul Rion argued that the evidence pointed as much to Terrell Talley, the baby's father, as it did to Arnold.

"This doesn't make sense to you," Rion told jurors. "It doesn't. I've been watching your faces."

Rion also claimed that the prosecutor cut and fit evidence to show that "this loving mother somehow was so evil that she killed her baby in this way".

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