Appeals court upholds conviction in 'exorcism' baby's death

News Jornal, Texas/February 5, 2013

Texarkana - The Texas Sixth Court of Appeals in Texarkana on Friday affirmed the conviction of Jessica Bain Carson for the murder of her child.

Carson was convicted April 13, 2011, of torturing and killing 13-month-old Amora Bain Carson. She was sentenced to life in prison.

Carson's live-in fiancé, Blaine Milam was also convicted of taking the life of baby Amora and sentenced to death on May 27, 2011.

Authorities say the Rusk County couple killed the child with a hammer. Investigators also found the toddler's body riddled with bite marks.

The lawyer for Carson appealed the decision based on the jury not submitting lesser offenses, but it was ruled out because the error was ruled harmless due to the capital murder conviction, thus making it a non-issue.

Carson's attorney also argued she was "entitled to a jury instruction on mistake of fact because she mistakenly believed that Milam would not harm Amora" and evidence was insufficient. Both arguments were rejected.

The defense also contended that "life without parole was cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment because of Carson's youth." The court did not allow this to go before the Appellate Court.

According to the arrest report, Carson "admitted to Texas Ranger Kenny Ray that she was present when the defendant performed an exorcism of the demons possessing the body of their child, Amora Bain Carson.

"The defendant went on to say after her husband killed the baby, they drove to Henderson to a pawnshop to pawn items to pay for an exorcism service. And officers were able to confirm those transactions. The defendant Carson said they then made up a story about leaving the baby alone and returning home and finding the baby dead."

Both felons were 18 at the time of the murder.

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