Mom found guilty of capital murder for burying her baby alive

HOUSTON - A 32-year-old woman has been sentenced to life in prison without parole, after a Harris County jury found her guilty of capital murder for burying her infant son in mud near a bayou, smothering the 2-month-old.

Jurors deliberated for about two hours Thursday before returning their verdict against Narjes Modarresi. State district Judge Maria Jackson issued her punishment immediately afterward. 

Modarresi wore a simple black suit and showed no signs of emotion while the verdict was read.

"By not showing emotions or anything it shows this person is really really sick," said her husband Amir Golabbakhsh.

Golabbakhsh said he learned a lot he didn't know about his wife during the week long trial.  He said their marriage was arranged and her parents never told his family about her mental issues that doctors testified started in her late teens. 

"If I knew that maybe we would have never married, had kids and none of this would have ever happened," Golabbakhsh said.

The question throughout the trial was never about whether or not Modarresi was guilty.  Defense attorney George Parnham had sought a lesser charge of felony murder against her because she suffers from bipolar disorder and was suicidal at the time of the April 2010 death of her child. 

Modarresi initially told police that two men had kidnapped her son as she walked him in a stroller.

"There is no doubt that Narjes was a very sick woman after the birth of her first child," Parnham told the jury.

But the prosecution painted a picture of a mother, who despite having some mental issues, knew exactly what she did was wrong.

"When she wanted to live with her bipolar disorder, she could do it, but when she wants to use it as an excuse she can do that too," the prosecutor told jurors, after referring to the fact that Modarresi was able to finish college and get a degree.

The prosecution wrapped up closing arguments by playing Modarresi's 911 call to police, where she can be heard panting for breath.  The prosecution also showed jurors pictures of the dead baby.

It was an emotional argument that convinced the jury to punish Modarresi with life in prison without parole. It's a decision, Golabbakhsh doesn't necessarily agree with, despite all the pain she has inflicted on his family.

"If she's really sick, which I think she is, then I think she should not spend her life in prison," Golabbakhsh said.

He and Modarresi have one other son, their first born. Golabbakhsh says he is now in first grade and doing well.  He has no idea about what has happened with his mother.

The defense plans to appeal the decision. In the meantime, Parnham says he has requested to place Modarresi at Skyview Psychiatric Unit in Rusk, Texas.

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