Trial begins for Salem woman charged with murdering infant daughter

MARION COUNTY — The First Degree Murder trial of a 24-year-old Salem woman accused of murdering her infant daughter started Monday with jury selection.

Christina Thomason is facing two counts First Degree Murder for the March 2015 death of her 3-month old daughter Aribella Thomason.

Christina Thomason (Credit: MCSO)
Christina Thomason
(Credit: MCSO)

According to court records, the prosecution is charging that Thomason covered her infant daughter’s head and face with blankets, intentionally suffocating the child.

While preparing the case for trial, Thomason’s court appointed attorney Matt Chancey revealed he had discovered a life insurance policy for Aribella in Thomason’s name.

Chancey said at the time he did not wish to withdraw from the case, even though his client could possibly use the estimated $18,000 in insurance money to hire a private attorney.

Chief Judge Michael McHaney has stated that Thomason could possibly be asked to reimburse the court for attorney’s fees following the conclusion of the case.

The jury trial is expected to last four to five days before being handed to the jury for deliberations.

Thomason is also facing charges in connection with an alleged escape attempt from the Marion County Jail where she has been held since March 2015.

She is currently scheduled for a March 3 preliminary hearing in that case in which she is charged with Class 3 felony attempted escape and Class 4 criminal damage to government property for alleged damage to an air vent in the jail. She remains in custody of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office with bail set at $1 million.