Young Father Jailed for 25 Years for Roasting His Baby Daughter in Microwave Oven

by Gopalan on  March 28, 2008 at 1:20 PM Child Health News
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Young Father Jailed for 25 Years for Roasting His Baby Daughter in Microwave Oven
A young father in the US has been jailed for 25 years for roasting his baby daughter in a microwave oven.

Joshua Maudlin, 20, had put her in the oven, turned it on and kept her in it for about 20 seconds in May last year.

Ana suffered second- and third-degree burns to her left ear, cheek, hand and shoulder and required two skin grafts. Part of her left ear had to be amputated.

Her foster mother fought back tears as she detailed how after being injured, the girl's left hand was so burned that there was no skin, no muscle, no fat, only tendon and bone.

The jury in Galveston, Texas, rejected Mauldin's claims he was insane when he put his two-month-old daughter Ana in the microwave.

His attorney asked jurors to consider Mauldin's long history of mental illness and give him probation so he could be treated outside prison.

Mauldin was teary-eyed after hearing the sentence. His mother sobbed in the courtroom after the verdict was read out.

Just before putting her in the Galveston hotel-room microwave, Mauldin had punched the baby and placed her in the room's safe and refrigerator.

Prosecutors said Mauldin hurt his daughter because he was angry that he was in a loveless marriage. They also said Mauldin had a history of violence and of lying about being mentally ill to get out of trouble.

Mauldin at first told police his daughter had been severely sunburned, later changing his story and saying he had accidentally spilled hot water on her while making coffee.

Mauldin claimed he started hallucinating when he was left alone in the hotel room with his daughter, feeling like mud was running up his body and consuming him.

The girl's foster mother, Heather Croxton, testified about Ana's screams as she's undergone painful surgeries and physical therapy that will continue for years.

"There is no excuse for your actions and I hate that one day you will be set free and allowed to move on with your life while Ana continues to pay for your actions," she told Mauldin during her emotional victim impact statement Wednesday.

Mauldin, 20, was sentenced after jurors deliberated for 6― hours over two days. They also fined him $10,000.

Prosecutors had wanted Mauldin to be sentenced to the maximum of life in prison.

But Galveston County prosecutor Xochitl Vandiver said she was satisfied with the decision. Mauldin has to serve at least half his sentence before being eligible for parole.

"I feel Ana will be well into adulthood when her father (is paroled) and that in and of itself is a great thing," she said.

Sam Cammack III, Mauldin's attorney, had asked jurors to consider his client's long history of mental illness and sentence him to probation so he could be treated at a hospital.

Cammack expressed disappointment in the sentence. "He still doesn't get the treatment for mental illness that he needs," the lawyer said, adding that Mauldin had been wracked by mental illness since he was 10.

After the sentence was handed down, Joanie Mauldin still insisted her son was insane. She blamed herself for not getting her son help and for Ana's injuries.

"I pray he gets help. But I don't see it happening in a penitentiary," she said, insisting her son loved his daughter. "Nobody in their right mind would cook a child."

The girl's mother, Eva Mauldin, refused defense attorneys' requests to testify. She lives in Arkansas. A trial to terminate the Mauldins' parental rights is scheduled for April.

Source: Medindia

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