California woman whose abusive boyfriend strangled her 22-month-old son to death gets 21 years for leaving child in his care
Rebecca Thomas, 36, was sentenced to 21 years in prison after being convicted of second-degree murder and felony child abuse for the death of her son Kash Thomas
A California mother was sentenced to 21 years in prison on Friday, July 26, after being convicted in May for the 2016 death of her 22-month-old son.
Rebecca Thomas, 36, was charged with second-degree murder and felony child abuse after the death of Kash Thomas, whom she left in the care of her live-in boyfriend Taylor Montgomery-Gutzman in 2016.
Although her boyfriend was the one who was directly held responsible for strangling the toddler to death and abusing his twin brother, Rebecca was found guilty of leaving her sons in the care of a man who was known to abuse her sons in the past, reported People.
The paramedics who responded to the victim's house on Oct. 13, 2016, had found Kash bleeding from his mouth with bruises on his face and a second-degree burn on his foot, which was similar to that of a cigarette burn, according to Sacramento County Child Protective Services (CPS) files obtained by the Sacramento Bee.
When attempts to revive the toddler failed, the emergency responders rushed him to a nearby local hospital, where he was declared dead.
The cause of death was listed as strangulation.
At the time, Kash's twin brother could not be located by the police and, as a result, Rebecca was additionally charged with child endangerment.
In a January 2017 jailhouse interview, Rebecca maintained her innocence in the death of her son. "I will say that I am not guilty on these charges,” she said. “I love my children.”
The records stated that the twins had to suffer a lot ever since their births.
They were born prematurely at 32 weeks on the Christmas Eve and, as a result, were in a fragile state. Both suffered from a narrow esophagus that made it difficult for them to swallow food. They were also diagnosed with pharyngomalacia, a respiratory problem.
Just three days after Rebecca was able to bring her twins home from the hospital on April 2015, the CPS accused her of not adequately caring for them.
Due to their medical complications, the California mother received specific instructions from the doctors to feed her children through a feeding tube in a calm setting. Despite the recommended way of feeding them, one of the nurses found her feeding one of the twins with a bottle while inside an elevator.
In another instance, one of the twins were rushed to hospital after he faced breathing problems. Doctors found baby formula at the back of the baby's throat and a feeding bottle was later found in his crib.
As a result of the incident, Thomas was ordered to participate in counseling and parenting classes, and learn about the gastrostomy tube to feed the twins, while all of her four children were placed in protective custody. She was handed back custody of her twins in May 2016.
Montgomery-Gutzman was additionally convicted of fatal assault on a child after Kash's death. He is scheduled to be sentenced in October and faces a maximum of 31 years.