Portales daycare owners found guilty in toddler’s hot car death

New Mexico

The mother and daughter accused of leaving two toddlers in a hot car, killing one of them, have been found guilty on all counts. 

Closing arguments lasted for several hours. The jury was ultimately swayed by the prosecution, and by the time the verdict was read people were in tears. 

Mary and Sandi Taylor ran a daycare called Taylor Tots. Back in July 2017, they took the kids to the park. 

Two girls, 1-year-olds Maliyah Jones and Aubri Loya, were left in Sandi’s car on the way back to the Portales daycare. Maliyah died, her temperature registered at 109 degrees at the time of her death. 

The prosecution believes they were inside the car for at least two and a half hours, maybe more. 

District Attorney Andrea Reeb pointed out the several policies and procedures the Taylors violated over the years, calling it a “recipe for disaster,” as well as the inconsistent statements made between the Taylors about what happened. 

Defense attorney Tye Harmon once again referred to the incident as a tragic accident, saying accidents are not crimes. Harmon accused the state of “desperately” trying to pick apart the Taylors’ statements. 

The prosecution also brought up how Aubri had a four out of five chance of dying and had to relearn almost everything, including walking and talking. 

The Taylors each face 36 years in prison—18 for each count of child abuse. State law requires the Taylors to serve a minimum of 18 years. The DA says the judge will most likely sentence them in the next 30 to 60 days.

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