MARION COUNTY — Attorney’s in the case of a 24-year-old Salem woman accused of murdering her infant daughter have confirmed a February 29 jury trial date in the case and estimate the trial will last four days.
Over the defendant’s objection, a January 25 jury trial in the First Degree Murder case against Christina Thomason was cancelled last month.
Thomason was arrested March 25, 2015, and has remained in the Marion County Jail with bail set at $1 million since that time. She’s facing two counts First Degree murder in connection with the death of her 3-month-old daughter Aribella Thomason.
According to Marion County State’s Attorney Matt Wilzbach, allegations indicate Thomason smothered her daughter with blankets because the baby wouldn’t stop crying.
The defense has argued since August that the trial needs a special setting, but Judge Mark Stedelin has ruled the motion for a change of venue will be deferred until after jury selection, which is now scheduled for Monday, February 29.
But before going to trial in the murder case, Thomason will first appear in court February 23, in a separate case in which she has been charged with Class 3 felony attempted escape and Class 4 criminal damage to government property.
According to Sheriff Rich Stevenson, Thomason, along with two other inmates attempted to remove a vent at the jail and damaged the vent in the process.
Stevenson notes that even if the women had been successful in accessing the ducts behind the vent, the ducts don’t lead anywhere outside the building.
Thomason had been held for nearly a year in the Marion County Jail on the murder charge at the time of the alleged attempted escape.