Ca. Mother Microwaved Baby to Death, Cops Say
Concluding a three month investigation into the death of a 6-week old infant, Sacramento police arrested the girl's mother on Thursday, accusing her of following in the footsteps of other mothers that have been prosecuted for microwave baby deaths.
The mother, Ka Yang, is denying any wrongdoing, and, with the death penalty possibly an option, appears to be setting herself up for an insanity defense.
When Ka Yang first reported the death of her daughter in March, she claimed that she had a seizure, which caused her to drop the baby on a space heater, reports CNN. She remembered nothing of the incident.
However, investigators found a pacifier in the microwave, and Yang was not disoriented when paramedics arrived.
Upon further investigation, CNN reports that the "extensive thermal injuries" found on the infant were consistent with those found in other recent microwave baby deaths in Ohio, Virginia, and Texas.
Ka Yang did eventually change her story, reports the Associated Press, claiming that she might have a split personality.
Even if this turns out to be true, it will be very difficult for Yang to use this as a defense to her alleged crime.
To properly utilize the defense of insanity, a defendant must show that, at the time they committed the crime, they were operating under the guise of a mental defect.
There's likely little to no evidence that, on the day of the microwave baby death, Ka Yang was under the control of a second personality that lacks a firm grasp on the difference between right and wrong.
- Mother accused of murder in baby's microwave death (KXTV-TV)
- Insanity Defense (FindLaw)
- The Andrea Yates Verdict and Sentence: Did the Jury Do The Right Thing? (FindLaw's Writ)