PORTALES, N.M. (KAMR/KCIT) – According to state officials, the New Mexico Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Friday, May 6, regarding the case of former Portales daycare workers convicted of reckless child abuse after the death of a child in 2017.
The court said that the case will be live-streamed beginning at 9 a.m. MDT.
Released court documents described that in July 2017, one-year-old Maliyah Jones and another child were left in a hot car for nearly three hours while at Taylor Tots Daycare. Although the other child survived with critical injuries, Maliyah was pronounced dead at the scene.
Mary and Sandi Taylor, former daycare operators, were both convicted of two counts of child abuse in 2019 and sentenced to a total of 36 and 30 years in prison respectively. However, released court documents showed that the Taylors attempted to appeal those convictions in 2019.
The initial appeal in 2019, according to court documents, argued that there was insufficient evidence to prove that the Taylors intentionally harmed the children in their care. Further, the appeal went on to argue that there were errors in how the trial was conducted and that the convictions violated the Taylors’ rights to be free from double jeopardy.
However, the court denied the Taylors’ appeal and confirmed their convictions in April 2021, according to released documents. The court argued that the Taylors “demonstrated a conscious disregard” for the safety of the children in their care and did not follow Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) safety policies and training. That disregard despite training, warnings, and laws regarding child care and safety, the court said, led to the Taylors being responsible for the death and injuries of the children.
Now, in 2022, the Taylors’ defense team filed another attempt at an appeal. The New Mexico Supreme Court is expected to hear oral arguments and review the case in order to decide whether or not the Taylors’ trial and convictions were reasonable.