Woman Who Murdered Infant in Microwave Given 26-to-Life

Ka Yang (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)
Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press

On Friday, a woman who murdered her six-week-old daughter by putting her in a microwave for up to five minutes was sentenced to 26 years to life in a Sacramento court.

In November, Ka Yang of Sacramento, a mother of three older sons, was convicted of the first-degree murder of her daughter Mirabelle Thao-Lo in March 2011.

At the time of the murder, Yang and her daughter were alone at her family’s home for 11 minutes, according to prosecutors. Yang placed her child into the microwave; the dead child was found to have suffered “extensive thermal injuries” with burns over 60% to 80% of her body. Her internal organs were also burned.

Yang told detectives she passed out at the computer and awakened to discover her daughter next to her by a space heater, but investigators later found the child’s pacifier in the microwave. Yang altered her version of events later; her attorneys told the court that Yang suffered an epileptic seizure at the time of the murder and was thus unaware of what she had done. But paramedics at the scene of the murder said Yang was not disoriented.

Yang’s attorney, Linda Parisi, told the court that Yang put her child in the microwave because of a post-seizure state of unconsciousness known as the “postictal state,” according to the Sacramento Bee.

In 2012, Yang told CBS Sacramento, “I never thought that with my seizure I will lose my little girl.”