China Arnold is behind bars for the microwave murder of her 3-week-old baby girl, Paris Talley, which occurred at her home in Dayton, Ohio.
Arnold was 25 years old at the time, and she was attending Sinclair Community College with plans of becoming a counselor.
On Aug. 29, 2005, the sister of Arnold’s live-in boyfriend, Terrell Talley, agreed to babysit Paris and her three siblings so that Arnold and Terrell could spend quality time with one another.
Arnold and Terrell first went to the store and purchased a bottle of Bacardi 151 before they arrived at their local park, according to the Dayton Daily News.
As the couple drank alcohol and became very intoxicated, they got into an argument regarding the paternity of the baby.
At that time, rumors had been circulating that Arnold had an affair and that Terell may not have been Paris’ biological father.
About two hours later, they decided to return to their home, where the quarrel continued.
Terrell testified that he slapped Arnold and pushed her to the ground in the parking lot after she allegedly bit him on the lip.
Afterward, he left and went to “The Spot,” an apartment where he said he sold drugs, specifically crack cocaine and marijuana.
When he returned to the home he shared with Arnold, he found her passed out on the couch, and Paris was asleep in her car seat next to another couch.
Terrell said he went to sleep.
When he woke up the next morning, he noticed Paris was cold and stiff, with burn marks on her body.
Arnold and Terrel then rushed Paris to the Children’s Medical Center, but there wasn’t anything doctors could do, as she was already dead.
Terrell told law enforcement that Arnold admitted to murdering their baby during a phone conversation. She told him that if he had never cheated on her, their baby would still be alive.
An investigation revealed that after arguing with her boyfriend, Arnold, who by that time had apparently drank about 40 percent of the bottle of alcohol, had put Paris in the microwave, turned it on, and left the house.
Medical experts testified that Paris’ autopsy showed she died quickly after her temperature reached 107 to 108 degrees Fahrenheit.
According to Fox News, Arnold was believed to have left her baby in the microwave for more than two minutes.
Investigators said this was not Arnold’s first run-in with the law, as she had a criminal past. In 2000, she was convicted of kidnapping, and in 2002, she was found guilty of forgery.
In November 2006, Arnold was arrested again. But this time, it was for aggravated murder in connection with her daughter’s death.
Arnold was booked into the Montgomery County Jail, where she became cellmates with a woman named Linda Williams. Officials said the women eventually developed a romantic relationship.
Williams testified that Arnold confided in her about what happened on the day her daughter died.
Once again, Arnold admitted to intentionally putting Paris in the microwave after her boyfriend questioned paternity.
Seven months after Arnold’s first trial ended in a mistrial, her second trial began sometime in February 2008.
The jury deliberated for three-and-a-half hours before finding Arnold guilty of murdering her daughter.
When the jury could not come to a consensus on the death penalty, Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Mary Wiseman imposed life in prison.
In November 2010, her conviction was overturned after she filed an appeal.
The following year, in May, Arnold went to trial for the third time, and the jury found her guilty again.
A judge then sentenced Arnold to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
WHIO reported that in 2013, Arnold requested a new trial in Ohio’s Second District Court of Appeals, as her defense team claimed there were errors in her case.
The request was denied.
In a written statement, Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. said, “This defendant was found guilty by 24 jurors during two separate jury trials.”
“With today’s decision by the Ohio Supreme Court declining to accept her final appeal, we hope that, finally, this horrifying case is closed and the defendant will serve the rest of her life in prison for murdering her own 28-day-old baby girl in a microwave oven.”
Prison records show that Arnold is serving her sentence at the Dayton Correctional Institution.