HOUSTON — It took a couple of hours Thursday for a jury to find a Houston mother guilty of capital murder in the death of her 2-month-old son who was buried alive.
Defense George Parnham argued that Narjes Modarresi was depressed and suicidal when she buried her infant son in mud near a bayou on April 21st, 2010.
Parnham told jurors on Wednesday that Modarresi suffers from bipolar disorder and never had a specific intent to kill, which is an element of capital murder. Defense lawyers begged jurors for a lesser charge.
Meanwhile, prosecutor Sunni Mitchell said Modarresi never formed a bond with a newborn “she never wanted and never loved.” Prosecutors said Modarresi not only committed the murder, but also planned and covered it up.
“What happened to him was not right, what happened was not justified, and regardless of the fact that his mother had a mental illness, it does not excuse her for what she did to him,” prosecutor Donna Logan said.
Modarresi initially told police that two men assaulted her and kidnapped her child while she was out walking in the 8000 block of Woodway. After a lengthy interview with investigators, police said Modarresi changed her story. She told police the boy was dead and led them to the bank of Buffalo Bayou where her son was in a shallow grave.
An autopsy later revealed the child had mud and water in his lungs and stomach, indicating he was alive when he was put there.
"The nature of the case, the videos, the pictures were just overwhelming, I knew this going in. This is not an unexpected verdict," Parnham said.
Modarresi's captital murder conviction means life in prison without parole.
The infant’s father said his wife should have been given leniency.
“If she is really sick and everything, which I think she is, she should not spend her life in prison and forever,” said Amir Golabbakhsh.
Parnham said he will appeal the verdict. A few years back he won a similar case on appeal after another mother was convicted of drowning her five children. In the meantime, he will request that Modarresi be kept in a psychiatric prison.