When Legal Pub discussed a parent freezing a child because she could not afford a casket LINK some disgust was inevitably generated. Now China Arnold is accused of putting her baby daughter, Paris Talley, in the microwave oven! Specifically, prosecutors accuse Arnold of killing her 1-month-old daughter, Paris Talley, by putting her in a microwave in 2005. Arnold's attorneys deny the allegations. However, the autopsy apparently revealed that the baby suffered high-heat internal injuries. The baby had no external burns so scalding water, open flame or other possible causes of death that could have damaged the skin were all ruled out. (China Arnold is in the A.P. Photo to the left.)
Defense attorney Jon Paul Rion said Arnold had nothing to do with her daughter's death. Arnold took her baby to the hospital after finding her unconscious. Arnold says she does not know how her baby died. Detective Michael Galbraith claims Arnold told him she arrived home in the early morning hours after drinking, fell asleep and was awakened at 2:30 a.m. by the baby's crying. She said she warmed a bottle in the microwave oven and tried to give it to the baby. She changed the child's diaper and then fell asleep on the couch with the baby on her chest. Arnold and her children were the only ones in the apartment until her boyfriend arrived several hours later and noticed something was wrong with the baby.
According to Galbraith, Arnold told him: "If I hadn't gotten so drunk, I guess my baby wouldn't have died." Robert Belloto, a staff pharmacist at Good Samaritan Hospital, testified he does not believe it would have been possible for Arnold to place the baby in the microwave because Arnold was so intoxicated. (Arnold allegedly consumed about 40 percent of a pint of high-proof rum in 90 minutes.)
If convicted of aggravated murder, China Arnold, may face the death penalty.
Update 2-2-08: Linda Williams, a former cell mate, testified Thursday that China confessed to the crime, saying the baby "fit right in" the oven.
Update 9-9-08: China Arnold, 28, was spared the death penalty because the Dayton, Ohio jury failed to reach a consensus. Attorney Jon Paul Rion will seek a new trial.