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Mother accused of killing baby in microwave could face death penalty

June 24, 2011 |  2:20 pm

6a00d8341c630a53ef014e894b3 A Sacramento woman accused of killing her 6-week-old daughter in a microwave was arraigned Thursday on murder charges that make her eligible for the death penalty if she is convicted.

Ka Yang, 29, was arraigned in Sacramento Superior Court on one count of murder and one count of assault causing death to a child under the age of 8. Prosecutors added a special circumstance that the murder was intentional and involved torture, which means a guilty verdict would open up the possibility of the death penalty, prosecutors said.

Yang was arrested Tuesday after investigators alleged she killed her infant daughter, Mirabelle Thao-Lo, in a microwave. Firefighters found Mirabelle's body at Yang's home on March 17, and called police to the scene after noticing the baby had severe burns. Yang told police she suffered a seizure while holding her daughter, and woke up with the girl on the ground next to her.

Officials thought the baby's severe burns were suspicious, and after three months of investigation, concluded that Mirabelle's injuries were similar to documented cases of children being burned by a microwave.

The Sacramento County coroner's office listed Mirabelle's burns as "extensive second-, third-, and fourth-degree thermal injuries."


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Photo: Ka Yang. Credit: Sacramento Police Department