SACRAMENTO (AP) — A jury on Friday convicted a California woman of first-degree murder and assault in the microwave oven death of her 1-month-old daughter, rejecting her argument that she was in the midst of a seizure and didn’t know what she was doing.
Ka Yang, 34, is facing 26-years-to-life in prison, and she is scheduled to be sentenced in December, the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office said.
Prosecutors say Yang put her daughter, Mirabelle Thao-Lo, in the microwave at her Sacramento-area home for 2½ to 5 minutes in March 2011. The girl suffered what authorities said were extensive thermal injuries.
Yang’s attorney, Linda Parisi, said after the verdict that she was disappointed.
“Ms. Yang suffers from epilepsy. She had an epileptic seizure. It was not deliberate conduct,” Parisi said.
Yang, who is married and has three other children, initially told investigators that she blacked out while working on the computer with Mirabelle in her arms and woke up on the ground with the baby injured next to a space heater, according to an affidavit in the case written by Sacramento Police Detective Thomas Shrum.
Although she had a history of seizures, paramedics did not find her to be disoriented when they arrived, according to the affidavit.
When detectives pointed out inconsistencies in her story, Yang later acknowledged she lied and said she might have a split personality, the affidavit said.
Investigators who arrived at the scene found the girl burned from head-to-toe and her pacifier in the microwave, but her pajamas and hair were not singed, according to the affidavit.