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Texas Man Pleads Insanity for Burning Baby Daughter in Microwave

A 19-year-old man accused of putting his 2-month-old daughter in a microwave, causing burns to her face and hand, was insane at the time of the incident, his lawyer said.

"This kid has voices talking to him, all kinds of other issues," attorney Sam Cammack III said Friday. Cammack filed notice Wednesday in state district court of the intent to plead insanity in the case.

Joshua Mauldin is accused of putting his infant daughter in a hotel room microwave for 10 to 20 seconds. The child suffered third-degree burns to the left side of her face and left hand.

Mauldin faces a charge of injury to a child, causing serious bodily harm. The charge carries a possible prison term of five to 99 years, as well as a fine of up to $10,000.

At the time of the May 10 incident, Mauldin and his wife were moving to Galveston, where he planned to become a preacher. According to a police report, Mauldin, who is from Arkansas, said God told him to move to Galveston.

"Josh Mauldin is not an evil person who would ever hurt his child under normal circumstances," Cammack said. "He's a 19-year-old kid who has mental issues."

Under Texas law, a person can be found not guilty by reason of insanity if a jury finds the defendant did not know that his or her actions were wrong.

If Cammack's motion is approved, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Texas Medical Branch would evaluate Mauldin within the next 30 days. Prosecutors may also appoint a psychiatrist to examine Mauldin.

The girl is currently in the custody of relatives. Mauldin and his wife are not allowed to contact them, but Cammack said his client does not plan to relinquish his parental rights.