Insanity challenge in microwave baby trial

GALVESTON, TX Joshua Mauldin is scheduled to stand trial next week on charges that he placed his 2-month old daughter, Ana, in a hotel microwave for 10 to 20 seconds last May. He is also accused of punching the baby and putting her in a refrigerator and a hotel-room safe.

Ana, who had her first birthday Thursday, was hospitalized for 11 days with burns on her hands and face and required two skin grafts.

If convicted of felony injury to a child, 20-year-old Mauldin faces a sentence ranging from probation to life in prison. He is being held at the Galveston County Jail on a $250,000 bond.

Galveston County prosecutor Xochitl Vandiver told a court hearing she plans to challenge Mauldin's insanity defense at his trial next week by showing a "pattern of lying, deceitfulness" about his criminal history.

Police say Mauldin, then 19, told investigators that he hurt his daughter because he was under stress.

Jury selection was set for Wednesday in Mauldin's trial.

Mauldin's wife, Eva, blamed Satan for his actions, saying the devil disapproved of her husband's efforts to become a preacher in Galveston. Mauldin, along with his wife and mother, had just moved to Galveston from Warren, Ark. when he was arrested.

Prosecutors have subpoenaed records from Mauldin's childhood and early adulthood that indicate he has been accused of stealing a handgun from his babaysitter when he was 13, setting his locker on fire in 10th grade and abusing Eva Mauldin in Arkansas. He was discharged from the Army after a court-martial conviction for stealing another soldier's laptop.

"It's just this pattern (by authorities) of attempting to make Mr. Mauldin out as some type of aggressive, inhuman individual," said Mauldin's attorney Sam Cammack III.

"The truth is there are going to be some things that come out of this trial that are interesting that the state has (not addressed) yet with regards to what happened in that room that night," he said.

Cammack suggested that Mauldin had an out-of-body experience when he injured the baby.

"It's no secret this kid has had a long, long detailed history of mental disorder and that is going to come out in trial," Cammack said. "He was insane. He was not in control of what he was doing. He saw what was happening but could not control it."

Cammack objected in court to a videotaped confession Mauldin gave in which he used a teddy bear to re-enact what happened to his daughter.

Cammack said the videotape would give jurors a false impression that his client was in control of his actions at the time of the crime.

Vandiver said authorities planned on showing the videotape to jurors.

State District Judge Susan Criss was not expected to decide whether to admit the confession until trial. Another trial is scheduled for April where Galveston County Child Protective Services will try to terminate the Mauldins' parental rights.

- Headlines at a glance

Copyright © 2024 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.