Judge blocks death penalty in White case

Christina White is “mentally retarded,” as defined by Missouri law, and cannot get a death sentence, even if a jury finds her guilty of murder in the 2007 burning death of her infant son.

Senior Judge J. Miles Sweeney issued that finding in a Dec. 16 order, which was entered into the case docket on Dec. 29 and released late Tuesday afternoon by Miller County Prosecutor Matt Howard.

Sweeney, retired from the Greene County Circuit Court since November 2007, was appointed by the Missouri Supreme Court as a special judge to hear the White case.

White, now 28, reportedly confessed that she set fire to a blanket covering her 6-month-old son, Wayne Earl Anderson Jr., in July 2007. He died in early August.

A probable cause statement filed with the original criminal charges reported White told authorities she had set fire to the blanket because she wanted the baby to die and that she was under a lot of stress.

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