Woman charged with murdering infant daughter appointed public defender

MARION COUNTY — A public defender, rather than a private attorney, will represent a 23-year-old Salem woman facing two counts first degree murder in connection with the death of her 3-month old daughter.

Christina Thomason had indicated at her arraignment that her grandmother would be retaining a private attorney to defend Thomason against the charges she intentionally and knowingly placed blankets on and around her infant daughter Aribella’s face, causing the baby to be smothered to death.

Instead, Judge Mark Stedelin appointed Lead Public Defender Matt Chancey to represent Thomason Wednesday.

Thomason is next due in court at 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 21 for a preliminary hearing in the case.

She remains in the Marion County Jail with bail set at $1 million.