Family Affected by Hot Car Death Testifies Against Daycare Workers


An emotional day in court in Portales, New Mexico, where a judge is tasked with determining whether two Taylor Tot’s daycare workers, Mary and Sandi Taylor, should remain in jail. The women have been charged with child abuse, and are accused of leaving two children in a hot car for almost two hours.

Updated Link: Taylors Indicted for Hot Car Child Death

The judge heard a tearful testimony from the mother of Maliyah Jones’, who died after being left in that car. The child’s family filled one side of the courtroom, wearing purple t-shirts and arguing the Taylors should not be released before the trial.

“They get to go home and be with their baby, and I will never get to see my baby again,”  Ericka Tafoya, Maliya’s mother said.

Moments from that day at Taylor Tot’s daycare in Portales last week were replayed in court Thursday.
“I heard screaming inside,” said Officer Amador Lujan. “One of the defendants holding one of the babies she was unclothed and unconscious at the time,” Lujan said.
It was revealed in court Maliya’s temperature reached 109 degrees at the time of her death.
The other little girl, Aubrianna Loya is being treated at University Medical Center. She remains on a ventilator, and may have brain damage.

“She is very critical and we need you to know that, and that just alone made my heart sink because you don’t know. You don’t know what is about to happen,” Kristen Ashmore said, of the moments medical personnel told her about her daughter Aubri’s condition.

The families of the two little girls weren’t the only heartbroken family in the courtroom, though.

The Taylors wept as details of the day were replayed, with their family testifying for them.

“They are good people, and this is just an accident,” said Mary Taylor’s sister Patsy Dodge. “They would comply with everything and we would make sure as a family.”

Officers testified the pair lied to the toddler’s parents about how long the kids were really in the car. Prosecutors told the judge the Taylor’s are a danger to the community and a flight risk.

“That’s 36 years each defendant is facing and that changes the ballgame as far as gravity of situation,” District Attorney Andrea Reed said.

“Why did the pair fail to do a headcount?” was another major question during the proceedings. When detectives questioned them, the Taylors said they often relied on the kids they were watching to get out of the car on their own, but the two girls were too small to do that.

“Get a headcount. See what the headcount procedure is at any daycare because that is all that would have prevented this,” Kristen Ashmore said.

Related Link: Portales Mother Speaks Out About Her Daughter Being Left in Hot Day Care Van

Ashmore and the rest of Aubrianna Loya’s family was not in court Thursday because they are still at her side at the hospital.

The judge says she will announce her decision about whether to keep the pair locked up in the next two days.

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