NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – A New Mexico mother and daughter convicted in the death of a toddler had their latest appeal rejected. However, the attorney for Mary and Sandi Taylor said he wants to take this case all the way to the state Supreme Court.
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In 2017, 22-month-old Maliyah Jones died and two-year-old Aubrianna Loya suffered permanent brain damage after being left in a hot car for about three hours at the Taylor Tots daycare in Portales. It was run by mother and daughter Mary and Sandi Taylor. They were sentenced to 30 years in prison for child abuse charges. Since then, their attorneys have worked to have their convictions overturned.
“We don’t believe there has been any crime committed,” said Tye C. Harmon, Taylor’s attorney. “We believe it was an absolute accident.” Taylor’s attorney argued there is insufficient evidence to support their convictions for reckless child abuse. They also challenged the jury instructions given at trial but the Court of Appeals agreed with the District Court’s decision.
“Our office is pleased that the court of appeals upheld the convictions in this case and that we were able to secure justice for the families,” said Matt Baca, spokesperson for the Attorney General. “Very happy with that decision,” said Andrea Reeb, the District Attorney for Curry and Roosevelt counties. “As I know the victims were extremely happy also.”
Even with this ruling, the Taylors won’t be heading back to prison. Before the Court of Appeals ruling, Taylor’s attorney said the Supreme Court granted their release until the appeals have been exhausted. Their attorney said they’ll now take their case to the Supreme Court, so the Taylors will remain free for now. “We will do everything that we can and exhaust every possible appellate resource we have,” said Harmon.
Attorneys for the Sandi and Mary Taylor have 30 days to file for the Supreme Court and if they take up this case, it could take months before it gets heard and a decision is made. If the Supreme Court refuses to take the case, the Taylors will be sent back to prison.