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Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: The prosecution allege she placed the child in the microwave because she was being irritable and fussy and holding her back from her work
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: March 17, 2011
Date of arrest: June 21, 2011
Date of birth: 1981
Victim profile: Her 7-week-old daughter, Mirabelle Thao-Lo
Method of murder: By putting the baby in a microwave
Location: Sacramento, Sacramento County, California, USA
Status: Sentenced to 26 years to life in prison on December 18, 2015
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Sacramento mom gets life in prison in daughter’s microwave death

Shawn Brouwer -

December 18, 2015

Sacramento, Calif. (KCRA) — A Sacramento mother convicted of microwaving her 1-month-old daughter to death was sentenced to 26 years to life in prison Friday.

Ka Yang, 34, was found guilty in November of first-degree murder in the child’s death.

According to evidence presented in court, Yang was alone with her daughter Marabelle Thao-Lo in March 2011 for about 11 minutes. During that time, Yang put Marabelle in the microwave for 2-and-a-half to 5 minutes.

The baby girl suffered what authorities said were extensive thermal injuries.

Yang, who is married and has three other children, initially told investigators that she blacked out while working on the computer with Mirabelle in her arms and woke up on the ground with the baby injured next to a space heater, according to an affidavit in the case written by Sacramento Police Detective Thomas Shrum.

Although she had a history of seizures, paramedics did not find her to be disoriented when they arrived, according to the affidavit.

When detectives pointed out inconsistencies in her story, Yang later acknowledged she lied and said she might have a split personality, the affidavit said.

Investigators who arrived at the scene found the girl burned from head-to-toe and her pacifier in the microwave, but her pajamas and hair were not singed, according to the affidavit.


Mother Sentenced To Life For Cooking Infant In The Microwave

Miss Kissy Denise -

December 18, 2015

SACRAMENTO, California — A Hmong mother who does not speak English has escaped the death penalty and has been sentenced to life in prison for microwaving her 6-week-old daughter like a piece of meat.

On March 17, 2011 police arrived at the home of 29-year-old Ka Yang and found her 6-week-old-daughter, Mirablee Thao-Lo, dead.

Officials say the child suffered “extensive thermal injuries.” The girl was burned from head-to-toe, but authorities could not find an obvious source for the burns when they arrived at the home, according to the affidavit written by Sacramento Police Detective Thomas Shrum.

However after one detective opened the microwave, he found a melted pacifier in it.

When authorities arrived at the home Yang who has a history of seizures was very calm and didn’t seem disoriented. It was apparent that she didn’t have a seizure that day.

Although when she was initially questioned Yang told investigators while working on the computer with Mirabelle in her arms she blacked out and saw bright lights due to a seizure, and woke up on the ground with the baby injured next to a space heater.

She tried to lead investigators to believe the extensive burns on the baby came from accidental exposure to the space heater.

When detectives pointed out inconsistencies in her story, Yang later acknowledged she lied and said she might have a split personality.

Upon being told a pacifier was found in the microwave Yang admitted to putting her baby in the cooking device and pressing start.

Yang cooked little Mirabelle on high heat. The babies insides were fried.

A pathologist testified during the trial that the 2 minutes of radiation from the microwave essentially cooked the child’s stomach and small intestine.

There was no motive in this case. Yang simply snapped and cooked her baby to death.

Yang’s court-appointed attorney, Linda Parisi, expressed doubts about her client’s mental health.

“I think there is no question there is clearly some psychological issues that will have to be investigated,” Parisi told reporters outside the courtroom.

Yang’s other three children, all under age 7, were removed from the home the day their sister was found dead. They are now living with relatives.

Yang has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.


California mom found guilty of murdering two-month-old daughter by cooking her in MICROWAVE for up to five minutes

  • Ka Yang, 34, was convicted of first-degree murder of Mirabelle Thao-Lo

  • Yang had argued she was in the middle of an epileptic seizure when she placed her daughter in the microwave

  • But prosecutors argued she lied to investigators about the baby's death until they found a pacifier in the microwave

  • Mirabelle suffered burns on 60 percent of her body, and internal organs

  • Yang, who has three surviving sons, faces 26 years to life in prison

By Associated Press and Anneta Konstantinides For

November 13, 2015

A California woman has been found guilty of murdering her two-month-old daughter, who was killed after she was placed in a microwave for as long as five minutes.

Ka Yang, 34, has been convicted of first-degree murder and assault on a child in the death of her daughter Mirabelle Thao-Lo in their Sacramento home on March 17, 2011.

Jurors rejected Yang's argument that she had been in the middle of an epileptic seizure when she placed her daughter in the microwave.

But prosecutors argued that Yang had lied to investigators about Mirabelle's death before they discovered a pacifier inside the microwave, according to The Sacramento Bee.

Yang had at first told both family members and later detectives that she had been holding her daughter when she lost consciousness while working at the computer.

The married mother-of-four said she woke up on the ground and found an injured Mirabelle next to a space heater nearby, according to an affidavit.

When detectives pointed out inconsistencies in her story, Yang later acknowledged she lied and said she might have a split personality, the affidavit said.

Mirabelle was found with burns covering 60 percent of her body, including radiation burns on her internal organs.

Prosecutors said she was in the microwave between two and a half to five minutes.

Investigators at the scene discovered she was burned from head-to-toe but her pajamas and hair were not signed, the affidavit states.

Yang's attorney Linda Parisi said she has long suffered from epilepsy and that she did not deliberately kill her daughter.

'There is no history of child abuse,' she told the newspaper. 'She has no criminal history.'

A spokesman for the family said Yang was a 'gentle' woman who 'didn't know what she was doing'.

Yang faces 26 years to life in prison and will be sentenced in December.

Her three surviving sons are in the care of family members.


Mom convicted of murder in 2011 killing of infant daughter

By Darrell Smith - The Sacramento Bee

November 13, 2015

On a table in front of Sacramento Superior Court Judge Steve White’s bench sat the murder weapon: a microwave oven.

Jurors Friday morning silently filed past the appliance into which Ka Yang placed her infant daughter in the kitchen of her family’s Robla-area home on March 17, 2011, and convicted the 34-year-old of first-degree murder and a second count of assault on a child causing great bodily injury leading to death.

Sacramento County prosecutors say Yang, a mother of four including her late daughter, 2-month-old Mirabelle Thao-Lo, was alone with her youngest child for but 11 minutes. Mirabelle was in the oven, prosecutors said, for as long as five of those minutes. Pathologists in proceedings leading up to trial said the child suffered burns covering 60 percent of her body, including radiation burns that penetrated her internal organs.

Jurors rejected arguments that the Sacramento-area woman killed her child while in the clutches of an epileptic episode, in finding Yang guilty of murder. Their decision, after three weeks of testimony, followed a day of deliberation.

Yang faces a prison term of 26 years to life. Sentencing before Judge Steve White is set for Dec. 18.

Prosecutors earlier argued that Yang did not have a seizure the day she killed her daughter and repeatedly lied to investigators about what had caused her child’s death before detectives found a pacifier inside the kitchen’s microwave.

Yang told family members– then later first responders and detectives – that she was holding her child while working on a computer when she lost consciousness. She said she awoke on the floor next to a space heater and that her daughter was hurt.

Family members and Yang’s defense counsel Linda Parisi blamed Yang’s long-standing battle with epilepsy for her child’s horrific death.

“There is no history of child abuse. She has no criminal history,” Parisi said from her office Friday afternoon.

At trial, Parisi argued Yang unwittingly put her child in the microwave oven while in a post-seizure state of unconsciousness known as the “postictal state.” The state after one is stricken by an active seizure, the postictal state comes with a host of aftereffects, including confusion, agitation and unresponsiveness.

“She didn’t know what she was doing,” said Lao Paochoua Thao, a Yang family spokesman, following the verdict, describing Yang as a “gentle, nice woman” who would not have intentionally harmed her child.

“Her real mind was out of reality,” Thao said.

Thao said Yang’s three surviving sons are staying with family members.


Mother 'burned her baby to death in microwave because she was having a seizure fit'

  • Ka Yang to stand trial for baby Mirabelle's murder

  • Radiation from the microwave cooked the child's stomach and small intestine

February 23, 2012

A mother will stand trial on charges of killing her seven-week-old daughter by placing her in a microwave oven and letting her burn to death for two minutes.

As well as the murder accusation against Ka Yang, 30, from California, Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Eugene Balanon also found enough evidence to support a special allegation that she tortured her daughter, Mirabelle.

Prosecutors ruled out the death penalty, but Yang faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of the murder of her child.

The mother-of-four has been held since June after investigators determined her baby died of 'extensive thermal injuries' after being placed in a microwave on March 17.

A pathologist testified during Tuesday's hearing that the radiation from the microwave essentially cooked the child's stomach and small intestine.

Yang's defense attorney, Linda Parisi said that it was due to her client's history of seizures - which she has been suffering from for more than six years - that made her put her own baby in the microwave.

She will argue during the murder trial that Yang was in the middle of a seizure and did not know what she was doing.

At the time, Yang claimed she 'had a seizure and did not know what happened after that'.

When they happen, she 'sees white light and then trees before hand', according to her family.

Deputy District Attorney Chris Ore suggested there was no seizure when Yang inserted Mirabelle Thao-Lo into the microwave, and points at the string of lies she told police after her daughter's death.

One of the things she told detectives was that she dropped her baby on a space heater when she had a seizure.

During the three-hour hearing, during which the judge refused Parisi's request to dismiss the special circumstance allegation that Yang tortured the girl, a forensic pathologist testified the baby suffered burns to more than 60 per cent of her body.

Dr Gregory Reiber said the most serious burn appeared to be a radiation burn that penetrated her internal organs and 'cooked through' to her stomach and small intestine. He said they were consistent with microwave exposure.

He said the baby would have suffered from severe pain throughout the exposure.

The prosecution allege she placed the child in the microwave because she was being irritable and fussy and holding her back from her work.

A trial date has not yet been set.

Yang, 30, was married at the time of her arrest and has at least two older children. She worked for a local architectural firm.


Sacramento woman arraigned in microwave homicide case

By Kim Minugh -

June 23, 2011

The mother accused of killing her infant daughter in a microwave earlier this year was arraigned this afternoon on charges of murder and assault causing death to a child under the age of 8.

Ka Yang, 29, also faces a special circumstance that the murder was intentional and involved torture, which, if found true, could make her eligible for the death penalty or life without parole.

Yang was arraigned in a Sacramento Superior courtroom at the county Main Jail, where she has been held since her arrest Tuesday. She did not enter a plea.

The case was accepted on behalf of the Conflict Criminal Defenders office by attorney Linda Parisi.

After the hearing, Parisi spoke briefly with reporters and indicated that Yang might have some psychological issues.

Sacramento police allege that Yang killed her 7-week-old daughter, Mirabelle Thao-Lo, by putting the baby in a microwave on March 17. The infant suffered thermal burns that police attribute to the appliance.

Yang told police she suffered a seizure while holding the baby and woke up on the ground with the injured baby next to her, possibly burned by a nearby space heater. But detectives rejected that claim based on the child's injuries - she was burned head-to-toe, but her pajamas and her hair were not burned - and what they saw as inconsistencies in Yang's accounts.

There have only been three other known cases nationwide of children being injured in a microwave, two of them fatally.


Mom Breaks Silence Over Baby’s Death As Investigation Mounts


May 4, 2011

Sacramento (CBS13) — Ka Yang said she had been trying to have a daughter for two years before giving birth to Mirabelle Thao Lo, after already giving birth to three boys.

Mirabelle’s death was a tragic accident, caused by a seizure, according to Yang, but the investigation into the baby’s death has concluded the baby died from a more sinister cause.

The soft-spoken mother told CBS13 she was holding her daughter while sitting at her computer desk when she suffered a seizure and blacked out. When Yang woke up, Mirabelle wasn’t breathing.

“I never thought that with my seizure I will lose my little girl,” she said.

The firefighters who responded to the call found the girl dead and called police to investigate, and the Sacramento County coroner has ruled that Mirabelle died from burns on her body. Investigators have not said how they believe the girl sustained the injuries.

“We do have forensic evidence from the scene that is being processed and we’re waiting for the results of that evidence,” said Officer Laura Peck.

Yang says the proof of her claim lies in her medical records, which she says shows a pattern of seizures since she was 14 years old. She said she believed her current medication would control her condition.

When CBS13 returned for a follow-up interview Wednesday to ask about the burns on Mirabelle, Yang avoided our cameras.

Yang’s other three children have been ordered into the custody of her grandparents.



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