DAYTON, Ohio – Investigators looked throughout China Arnold's home to find whatever fatally burned the woman's infant, finally identifying a kitchen appliance, a detective said.
"That microwave was the murder weapon," detective Michael Galbraith testified Thursday at a hearing to determine if Arnold will stand trial on aggravated murder charges in the death of her month-old daughter, Paris Talley.
Arnold, 26, has pleaded not guilty in Paris' death on Aug. 30, 2005. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
Galbraith testified that Arnold told him during his initial questioning: "If I hadn't gotten so drunk, I guess my baby wouldn't have died."
But under questioning from defense attorney Jon Paul Rion, Galbraith acknowledged that Arnold told him she did not know how the baby suffered the burns and that she could not recall having anything to do with it.
Prosecutors and police say the infant had high-heat internal injuries but no external burn marks, evidence that led the coroner to conclude the infant had been placed in a microwave. Galbraith said the infant's DNA was found in the home's microwave, though he acknowledged that evidence does not establish who put the baby inside.
Rion has said that Arnold took the baby to the hospital after finding her unconscious at home. He said she told hospital officials she did not know what happened to the child.
Rion also said the police's request for an arrest warrant contained inconsistent statements and omitted information.
Rion has asked the court to bar any evidence that was seized, any observations made by police and any statements that may have been made by Arnold after her arrest, which he said violated his client's constitutional rights.
Judge John Kessler ruled that prosecutors can use some of Arnold's statements at trial. He said he would decide later whether other statements and physical evidence would be admitted.