Woman who broiled toddler daughter in oven to stay in prison

MONTGOMERY, AL (AP) – Alabama’s parole board is refusing to release a woman convicted of putting her 14-month-old daughter into a hot oven in 2002.

The board rejected an early release for 40-year-old Melissa Wright of Millbrook during a hearing Tuesday.

Wright pleaded guilty to attempted murder in 2003 after placing daughter Ashley Smith in a broiling oven at their home in Elmore County.

The girl survived and is now 15, having endured more than two dozen operations for burns she received in the oven. Smith asked the board to keep her mother in prison.

But Smith’s older sister, Courtney Brunson, asked the board to free Wright. She calls her mother a changed woman who was once mentally ill.

A prosecutor says he wants the woman to serve every day of her 25-year sentence.

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