Jury deliberates punishment in microwave trial

March 26, 2008 12:50:31 PM PDT
A Galveston man was found guilty of deliberately injuring his infant daughter by putting her in a microwave. After making their decision, the jury heard more emotional testimony and they're now considering his punishment. That jury began deliberations today on the punishment for Joshua Mauldin after earlier in the day rejecting the defense's claim that he was insane at the time and found him guilty of deliberately injuring his daughter.

[IMAGES: Photos shown in court of child who had been placed in microwave]

The young father sat stone-faced as he learned his fate for burning his daughter, Ana Murphy, in a microwave. At the time, the baby was just two months old.

Despite Mauldin's lack of emotion in the courtroom, his lawyer said he's deeply affected.

"I'm sure it's pretty devastating to him at this point because as far as we know, he's probably in a lucid moment at this time and everything seems very real to him," said defense attorney Sam Cammack.

Mauldin pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. The Arkansas man told police in a videotaped statement that he put his baby in the motel room appliance back in May while he was hallucinating.

During the nearly two-week trial, jurors learned about Mauldin's long history of mental illness. However, prosecutors argued that two doctors concluded the father knew right from wrong.

The 20-year-old faces up to 99 years in prison for leaving the baby with second and third degree burns. In testimony during the sentencing phase, recent pictures of the now one-year-old were shown in court. Her face is scarred. Her left ear and left ring finger are disfigured.

"She can't spread her fingers out to grab like a ball," said Ana's foster mother, Heather Croxton.

As Croxton testified, she choked back tears.

"Whenever I'm getting her dressed, I have to reach through her sleeve, I have to grab her hand so that the ring finger doesn't get caught," she said.

She explained the baby still makes regular doctor visits and still faces an uncertain future, both physically and psychologically.

"We plan to do our best to raise her with a high self-esteem, so the scars don't affect her so bad," said Croxton.

Croxton went on to say they're hoping to adopt Ana.

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