The case of

Paris Talley (28 days old)

Victim

Paris Talley (28 days old)

Victim Race

African-American

Victim Date of Birth
Victim Age
Date Reported
Date of Death

August 2005

Case Status

Closed

Incident Location

Dayton, Ohio

Body Location

Dayton, Ohio

Date of Conviction

November 2006

Body Discovered Date
Murderer

China Arnold

Who is China Arnold?

China P. Arnold was born March 29th 1980, in Dayton Ohio. She had previously been convicted of abduction in 2000 and of forgery in 2002.

Murders

Parents Terrell Talley and China Arnold are out at a park one night. At some point during that night, Talley begins to question if Paris is truly his child. He had heard that China had been cheating on him. Questioning this made China Arnold really angry. They then drove home, and being angry; China Arnold was driving quite erratically.

The couple then gets into some kind of physical altercation in the parking lot of their home. At this point, Arnold was incredibly inebriated, and Talley was not present in their apartment. Full of anger and resentment, Arnold takes her 28-day-old baby Paris, and places her in the microwave. She set a timer on the microwave and pushed start, allowing the microwave to run, with her baby girl inside, for at least 2 minutes.

In the early hours of the morning on August 30th, 2005, Arnold and Talley went to the children’s hospital at around 7:15 am with their 28-day-old daughter Paris Talley. Her temperature at this time was 95 degrees fahrenheit, she had no pulse, no respiration, and no blood pressure upon arrival. Despite attempts to resuscitate Paris, emergency personnel pronounced her dead. Paris’ injuries puzzled and mystified the doctors and medical staff.

Investigation

Paris had burns on her body, but they were not like scalding or liquid burns that were normally observed. They noticed that she was wearing a clean nightgown, but in accordance with her injuries there should have been skin and seepage present. The medical team also noticed that during their attempts to revive Paris, her mother, Arnold, mentioned she was not burnt, and her skin was just peeling.

During the initial questioning at the hospital, Arnold stated that she had arrived home at 2 am and tried to feed Paris, but the baby refused At this time she felt warm to the touch, so Arnold placed her in a bassinet with a fan pointed at her. When they got up in the morning, Paris was not acting right, so they brought her to the hospital. Although, this was after getting her other children ready for school, putting them on their school bus, and calling Talley.

Both China Arnold and Terrell Talley were taken to the police station after they had been questioned at the hospital. Despite her earlier statement, Arnold claimed that she got home at around 9:00 pm or 10:00 pm that night and had been sleeping next to Paris on her chest. She later heated up a bottle at around 2:30 am, when Paris started crying. After addressing all of Paris’ needs, she lay down on the couch with her baby girl on top of her, she fell asleep again. She woke up and found that Paris wasn’t there, but Talley was lying next to her so she thought that he must have put Paris upstairs in the crib.

Talley, however, told police that he had arrived home at about 3 am or 4 am that morning and laid down on a couch. After sleeping for a bit, he moved to the bigger couch where Arnold was sleeping. When he woke up that morning, he found Paris dead, face down on a large couch in the corner.

During the Police’s initial search of the property, they had been informed about the burns on Paris’ body. However, they had no idea what might have caused them. Some of the burns were very severe, and some were clearly defined, but other areas of her body had been completely spared. Her back had not been burnt at all, for example.

The exact details about what happened and why are unknown, as many different stories have been told about what happened.

On November 27th, 2006, Arnold was arrested for aggravated murder. Further being indicted in December 2006 for the aggravated murder of Paris, together with the specification that she had purposefully caused the death of another under the age of 13 and was the principal offender.

3 Trials

Arnold’s first Jury trial began in February 2008. Talley claimed that his son had pulled his baby daughter from the microwave, lifeless after a neighbor’s boy had put Paris inside. After this, the Judge declared a mistrial.

The case was retried in August of 2008, with the defense presenting evidence claiming that somebody had seen the boy place the baby in the microwave. The trial jury found China Arnold guilty. But during the sentencing phase of the trial, they came to a deadlock regarding the death sentence. Taking the death sentence off the table. She was therefore spared the death penalty and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The second trial came under scrutiny and questioned whether Arnold had received a fair trial.

In November 2010, Ohio’s 2nd District Court of Appeals reversed the conviction of Arnold at her 2nd trial. This was due to prosecutorial misconduct and error, and the trial judge had erred in not allowing the testimony of a witness. This violated Arnold’s right to have a fair trial, and so the case was overturned.

The case was put on trial for a 3rd time in April 2011. Arnold’s defense attorney claimed the evidence pointed towards Talley just as much as it did to Arnold. The defense theory for Arnold pointed out that she was intoxicated at the time. While the prosecution argued that Arnold’s actions were even more deliberate than that with a knife or a gun.

Conviction

On May 13th, 2011, China P. Arnold was convicted by the trial jury of the aggravated murder of 28-day-old Paris Tulley.

On May 20th, 2011, China P. Arnold was sentenced to life imprisonment with parole. The death sentence had been rejected by both the trial jury and the trial judge.

Aftermath

In September 2013, Arnold’s defense attorney requested a new trial in the 2nd District Court of Appeals, claiming that multiple errors were made with her case and, therefore, she did not receive a fair trial. In December 2013, the 2nd District Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction, citing that any misconduct did not infect her trial unfairness.

A further appeal was made regarding double jeopardy and the life sentence that Arnold had received. This appeal was made to the Ohio Supreme Court, requesting a reversal of the decision. In May 2014, the Ohio Supreme Court decided not to take up this appeal.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happened to the baby in the microwave?

28-day-old Paris Tulley sadly died after being put in the microwave for at least 2 minutes by her Mother, China Arnold.

When did China Arnold microwave her baby?

China Arnold Microwaved her baby in the early hours of 30th August 2005.

Who was the woman who microwaved her baby?

China Arnold is an American woman from Dayton, Ohio convicted for microwaving her baby. She is currently serving a life sentence.

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