China Arnold, a woman from Ohio, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in 2008 for the murder of her 28-day-old daughter, Paris. According to expert analysis, the infant was placed inside a microwave oven for more than 2 minutes in the early hours of August 30, 2005, and died shortly after being removed from the appliance.
China Arnold was living with her boyfriend, Terrell Talley, and her children at the time of the incident.
The Background Story
According to reports, Terrell Talley and China Arnold were together at a park one night when Talley began to doubt whether Paris was his biological child after hearing rumors of China cheating on him. This questioning sparked an argument that left China Arnold fuming. They eventually returned home, with China Arnold driving recklessly due to her heightened emotions.
Arnold then placed her 28-day-old daughter, Paris, inside a microwave and set a timer for at least 2 minutes, allowing the appliance to run while the infant was inside.
Baby Paris suffered burns after being placed inside a microwave oven and was taken to the hospital. Unfortunately, she died the following day as a result of her injuries.
During her initial questioning at the hospital, China Arnold stated that she attempted to feed Paris when she arrived home at 2 a.m., but the infant refused. Arnold then noticed Paris’s skin was warm to the touch and placed her in a bassinet while directing a fan at her.
Evidence discovered during the investigation later disproved this account, revealing that Paris had indeed been placed in a microwave oven.
On November 27th, 2006, China Arnold was arrested for aggravated murder.
Trial and Sentencing
The first trial for China Arnold began in February 2008.
Terrell Talley gave an interview to the Dayton Daily News shortly after the first trial began, claiming that his son told him he had pulled the lifeless body of the baby out of the microwave after a neighbor’s son had put her in there.
A mistrial was declared in this case. During the second trial, however, the mother of the boy in question testified that her son was not present at the housing complex when Paris died, and Arnold was eventually found guilty of aggravated murder.
During the sentencing phase of China Arnold’s trial, the jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision on the death penalty, so it was removed from the table. As a result, Arnold received a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Later, the second trial was scrutinized, and questions were raised about whether Arnold received a fair trial.
In April 2011, the case went to a third trial, during which China Arnold’s defense attorney argued that the evidence implicated Terrell Talley just as much as it did Arnold. Arnold’s defense theory emphasized her intoxicated state at the time of the incident. The prosecution, on the other hand, claimed that Arnold’s actions were premeditated and intentional, similar to using a knife or a gun.
On May 13, 2011, a trial jury found China P. Arnold guilty of the aggravated murder of 28-day-old Paris Tulley.
She was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on May 20, 2011.
China Arnold has been serving her sentence at the Ohio Reformatory for Women since September 11, 2008.