Mother who killed baby in microwave oven gets life term

Mother who killed baby in microwave oven gets life term
In this Jan. 23, 2007 file photo, China Arnold is shown in common pleas court in Dayton, Ohio.

CONTENT ADVISORY: This story contains crime scene descriptions some readers may find disturbing.

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - An 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.

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 defense argued that someone else was likely responsible for the baby's death.

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.

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

It was Arnold's third trial in her daughter's 2005 death. Her first trial ended in a mistrial. She was found guilty in the second, but an appeals court reversed the conviction.

Messages seeking comment were left Friday for the prosecutor and the defense attorney. A gag order has prevented anyone connected to the case from commenting outside court.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)