A Roosevelt County judge has sentenced two daycare owners, a mother and daughter, to 36 years in prison for the death of one child and the injury of another.
Mary Taylor, 64, and Sandi Taylor, 33, were found guilty of child abuse resulting in injury and child abuse resulting in death on February 5, 2019.
Both women were given 18 years on each count. The sentences will be served consecutively.
The judge did shave six years off Sandi Taylor’s sentence because she was honest with police about what happened, while her mom tried to tell them the girls were asleep on the couch and didn’t know what happened.
The Taylors’ attorney has already filed a motion requesting they get released on bond until their appeal.
The two children were left unattended in the back of a daycare van in July 2017.
The children suffered from extreme heat exposure.
Maliyah Jones died and Aubrey Loya was airlifted to a Lubbock hospital for treatment. Both girls were under the age of 2 at the time.
The two women unloaded children from the van for naptime in the Taylor Tots Daycare in Portales, but overlooked to two youngest kids who were strapped into their safety seats.
In a victim impact statement read in court Monday, Kristen Ashmore, Aubrey’s mother, said her daughter has lost her fine motor skills. She said it may be years before she recovers them.
“I am heartbroken for everyone in this case,” she said, to the judge. “I hope and pray that you will be able to come up with a fair and just sentence.”
The following is a press release from New Mexico Ninth Judicial District Attorney’s Office:
Ninth Judicial District Attorney, Andrea Reeb, announced that today Mary Taylor, age 64, of Portales NM; and Sandi Taylor, age 33, of Portales, NM; were sentenced on charges of First Degree Child Abuse Resulting in Death and First Degree Child Abuse Resulting in Great Bodily Harm. The mother and daughter day care owners were found guilty by a Roosevelt County jury after a four-day trial that began on January 30, 2019.
On July 25, 2017, the Taylors left two toddlers under the age of 2, unattended in a closed parked vehicle for two and one-half hours after returning from a field trip.
Evidence presented at trial showed that the Taylor Tots Day Care did not follow the proper rules and procedures mandated by CYFD including failing to do headcounts, driving the children without permission, and failing to have proper care giver to child ratio. Maliyah Jones, died later at the hospital and Aubriauna Loya was airlifted to a Lubbock hospital. Aubriauna is recovering but faces a lifetime of physical challenges, having to attend occupational, physical and speech therapy at least twice a week.
The Honorable Donna J. Mowrer heard emotional statements today from the mothers of the two girls, and other family members in the case. Judge Mowrer sentenced Mary Taylor to the maximum of 36 years in prison. Judge Mowrer sentenced Sandi Taylor to 30 years, with six years being mitigated because the judge said that Sandi was forthcoming initially to police. Judge Mowrer stated, “Choices have consequences. It was a day filled with shortcuts and laziness. This was a preventable crime.” The Taylors request for an appeal bond was denied and they will be transported to the New Mexico Department of Corrections to begin serving their sentences.
Andrea Reeb, District Attorney, and Quentin Ray, Deputy District Attorney prosecuted the case for the State. The Taylors were represented by Tye Harmon, Attorney at Law from Clovis.