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Mother arraigned in baby's microwave death

A woman suspected of killing her month-old daughter by putting her in a microwave oven pleaded not guilty Tuesday.
China Arnold
China Arnold, 26, is seen on a television screen during a video arraignment Tuesday in Dayton, Ohio. Arnold has been charged in the death of her one-month-old daughter last year.Al Behrman / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

A woman suspected of killing her month-old daughter by putting her in a microwave oven pleaded not guilty Tuesday.

An attorney entered the plea for China Arnold, 26, who remained in the Montgomery County Jail for the video arraignment. Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge John Kessler continued her bond at $1 million.

Prosecutors had asked Kessler to hold her without bond, saying she has a criminal record and is a flight risk. Defense attorney Jon Paul Rion wanted bond reduced.

"Miss Arnold is a loving mother who is innocent of these charges," Rion said. "She has cooperated with police. She has never tried to run from police."

She stood with her hands behind her back, slowly shaking her head during the arraignment. She winced when Kessler announced he was keeping bond at $1 million.

Arnold was indicted last week on a charge of aggravated murder, and the prosecutor said he would seek the death penalty.

The baby, Paris Talley, died Aug. 30, 2005.

3 other kids
The coroner concluded that the injuries could have only been caused by the baby being cooked in a microwave oven, according to Montgomery County Prosecutor Mathias Heck Jr. Investigators have said evidence that includes high-heat internal injuries and the absence of external burn marks on the baby were consistent with a microwave.

Heck has declined to discuss a possible motive or release any other details about the case. He said Arnold would be subject to the death penalty if convicted because the victim was a child.

Rion has said Arnold had nothing to do with her child's death. She is also the mother of three boys — ages 9, 7 and 4.

The night before the baby was taken to the hospital, Arnold and the child's father went out for a short time and left the child with a baby sitter, Rion said. The mother didn't sense anything out of the ordinary until the next morning, when the child was found unconscious, he said.

Arnold was convicted of forgery in 2002 and of abduction in 2000, according to records in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court. She was put on probation for five years in each case.