26-year-old China Arnold seems, to me at least, to be someone who would be better off….somewhere else.
Perhaps the moon.
Without a spacesuit.
China has a history of trouble with the law.
From those reports, in 2000, China Arnold abducted an elderly woman who was walking through a parking lot, threatening to shoot the woman if she didn’t comply with China’s orders.
China forced the woman to drive her around town for a while before stealing her purse.
She got five years of probation for that one.
Then, in 2002, China Arnold was convicted of forgery.
Of course our wonderfully efficient justice system didn’t bother throwing her in prison for breaking the conditions of her probation. If they had, China Arnold might not have been free in August of 2005.
What happened in August of 2005, you ask?
Well, President Bush endorsed Intelligent design, Peter Jennings died from lung cancer, and China Arnold put Paris Talley, her three-week-old baby daughter, into a microwave oven and set it on “high.”
China Arnold took her dead child to a hospital the day after.
Ms. Arnold told investigators that she was so wasted the night before Paris Talley died that she had no idea what could have caused the baby’s internal burns.
Perhaps the DNA from Paris Talley’s body that investigators found on the roof of the family microwave gave her a hint, reminded her of what she’d done.
“If I just hadn’t gotten so drunk, I guess my baby wouldn’t have died,” Arnold told investigators.
In February of 2008, a judge declared a mistrial, and the retrial began on the 18th of August, 2008. Jury deliberations started on the 28th of August, 2008 – following closing arguments by the prosecution and defense.
According to evidence detectives uncovered, the prosecution claimed that China Arnold intentionally put her baby in the microwave oven and cooked the child to death after a fight with her boyfriend.
A cellmate of China Arnold testified that China confessed to her that she had put her baby in the microwave and turned it on because she was worried her boyfriend would leave her if he found out the child wasn’t his.
An examination of the microwave in China Arnold’s apartment revealed her baby’s DNA. A forensic pathologist testified that the girl likely died after being left in the microwave oven while it was running for more than two minutes.
Defense attorney Jon Paul Rion told the jury that Arnold couldn’t remember what happened and was probably too drunk that night to have put the infant in the oven. Another forensic pathologist testified that Arnold had a blood-alcohol level nearly four times the legal driving limit.
China Arnold’s attorney told the jury that there was evidence indicating someone else was responsible for putting China’s baby into the microwave. He cited testimony from an 8-year-old boy who said he saw another boy walk into the kitchen of a nearby apartment with the baby, heard the microwave go on, and then later saw the burned baby in the microwave.
The mother of that 8-year-old, however, testified on the 27th of August, 2008 that she and the boy lived some distance away from China Arnold’s apartment and that they were not even at Arnold’s apartment complex when the baby died. The woman’s former live-in boyfriend also testified that he was certain the boy was not at the location.
After the jury returned from their deliberations on the 29th of August, 2008, they announced that they had found China Arnold guilty of aggravated murder and that she was eligible for the death penalty. The jury was scheduled to return on the 2nd of September, 2008 to begin hearing evidence in the death-penalty phase of the case.
On the 8th of September, 2008, China Arnold was been given a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. The judge presiding over the trial rejected a plea by China Arnold’s lawyers for a sentence that allowed the possibility of parole after 25 years in prison.
Arnold was not in court to hear her sentence. She watched the relatively normal people from another room via a video link as they decided what the rest of her life was going to be like.
According to prosecutors, China Arnold’s baby’s DNA was found inside the microwave in Arnold’s apartment.
China Arnold’s ex-cellmate testified that China Arnold confessed to her that she had put her daughter in the microwave and switched it on because she was afraid that her boyfriend would leave her if he discovered that he was not the baby’s father.
Jon Paul Rion, China Arnold’s lawyer, has stated to the press that he wants a third trial. The first trial of China Arnold ended with a mistrial when new witnesses came forward.
According to Jon Paul Rion, China Arnold:
…has faith in the system, she is strong and will continue to fight until her innocence is proven.
That could take a while.