In the early morning hours of August 30, 2005, four-week-old Paris Talley died after she was placed in a microwave oven andits power was turned on for approximately two minutes. The child’s mother, Arnold, was charged more than one year later, in December2006, with aggravated murder arising from her daughter’s deathafter the cause of Paris Talley’s death was determined.
A jury trial commenced in late January 2008. The stateoffered circumstantial evidence implicating Arnold in the crime,largely in relation to her access to her child when the crimeoccurred. Arnold’s defense was that following an evening ofdrinking, she was too intoxicated to have committed the crime. Thestate also offered evidence that on the night of her daughter’sdeath, Arnold had said, “I killed my baby.” However, Arnold hadalso explained that her statement expressed remorse for not takingcare to prevent someone else from committing the crime. The statealso offered the testimony of Linda Williams, a “jailhouse snitch,” who testified that Arnold admitted putting her child in the microwave.
The trial ended in a mistrial when the defense profferednewly discovered evidence that another person, D.T., Arnold’s youngnephew, put the baby in the microwave oven and turned it on. Theproffered evidence was in the form of testimony by M.Q., an eight-