Dad's taped confession played in court

March 19, 2008 5:54:06 AM PDT
In a Galveston courtroom a jury heard from Joshua Mauldin, the father who's accused of burning his baby daughter in a microwave. On a videotaped confession, Mauldin described how he put her tiny body in the microwave and how he felt when he turned it on. This was perhaps the most anticipated day of the trial. Everyone heard firsthand what Joshua Mauldin said when he spoke with police. It was a long, detailed story that he told very calmly.

Maudlin demonstrated a punch against his hand, just one of several disturbing things he told a police officer he did to his infant daughter before burning her in a microwave. A Galveston jury attentively watched a video of the statement the 20-year-old father gave police the day of his arrest.

Mauldin is on trial, accused of causing the two-month-old's severe burns. Police say it happened last year in a Galveston motel room.

On the tape, Mauldin said he hurt the child after he was overcome by some sort of feeling that he could not control.

He said in the videotaped statement, "It felt like that and a fire, like a white hot fire inside right in stomach all though, all through here. And at that point I had no control over my body."

He goes on to tell investigator Holly Johnson he threw his daughter Ana on a bed and then punched her in her diaper area. After that Mauldin methodically demonstrated using a teddy bear. He described how he put Ana in the room's small safe, then a refrigerator and finally for 10 seconds the microwave.

"And then when I put her in the microwave, I set her in just like that her knees were laying like that," Maudlin said.

He described his emotions when he pulled her out.

"I wouldn't do that, you know? I laid her on the bed and I was in shock," Maudlin said.

As the 45 minute statement played in court, Mauldin sat expressionless at the defense tape and looked straight ahead.

On the video, he methodically recounted the details and only cried when Officer Johnson pulled out pictures of the burned baby. In the statement, Mauldin also said he lied to police. First he blamed the baby's injuries on a sunburn and later, hot water.

When Johnson asked how he felt as doctors treated his baby for third degree burns, Maudlin gave this reply.

He said, "I'm feeling nervous because? A little looking on the bright side. Just kind of optimistic knowing that, 'OK, the police believe this right now.'"

Defense attorney Sam Cammack tried to put the tape in context when he cross-examined Johnson. He asked if she interviewed doctors who treated Mauldin for mental illness. She hadn't.

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