Child Received Third-Degree Burns Over 70 Percent Of Body
POSTED: 5:32 p.m. EDT August 22, 2003
WETUMPKA, Ala. -- A 27-year-old woman pleaded guilty to attempted murder and received a 25-year prison term for placing her infant daughter in a hot oven.
Melissa Wright of Coosada pleaded guilty Thursday before Elmore County Circuit Judge Sibley Reynolds. The court hearing had been set to consider a defense bid to relocate the trial, but became a plea proceeding.
Wright placed her 18-month-old daughter in the oven in June 2002, with the setting on broil. The child received third-degree burns over 70 percent of her body. Her screams brought help from her father, who was outside the house.
"The child has made a remarkable recovery, considering the injury she sustained," said District Attorney Randall Houston.
The child remains in the care of relatives and still faces years of reconstructive surgery.
"I feel a 25-year sentence fits the crime in this case," Houston said.
Wright first told investigators the child fell into the oven by accident. She claimed she was holding the baby when she opened the oven to check on liver that was cooking. She told authorities the child slipped from her arms, fell on the door, rolled into the oven and the door closed.
"This was not an accident. This was attempted murder," Houston said. "We were going to argue, and we feel the evidence would show, Wright was jealous of the attention the father was placing on the child. She didn't suffer from any mental illness. She is just mean as hell."