A Northern California woman accused of killing her baby in a microwave oven was arraigned yesterday on murder charges that could lead to the death penalty if she is convicted. Prosecutors charged Ka Yang, 29, with one count of murder with the special circumstance that the killing was intentional and involved torture, which would make her eligible for the death penalty or life in prison without parole, the Sacramento Bee reported. Authorities found Yang's 6-week-old daughter, Mirabelle Thao-Lo, dead in the family home in Sacramento on March 17.
Officials say the child suffered "extensive thermal injuries." The girl was burned from head-to-toe, but authorities could not find an obvious source for the burns when they arrived at the home. The infant's pajamas and hair were not singed. A pacifier, however, was found in the microwave. Yang initially told investigators she blacked out while working on the computer with Mirabelle in her arms and woke up on the ground with the baby injured next to a space heater. When detectives pointed out inconsistencies in her story, Yang later acknowledged she lied and said she might have a split personality. She did not enter a plea in court yesterday.