Daycare owners who left two toddlers in van during heatwave leading to death of 22-month-old girl claim it was an accident
22-month old Maliyah Jones and two-year-old Aubrianna Loya suffered extreme heat exposure after Mary Taylor, 67, and Sandi Taylor, 31, failed to retrieve them from their van
A mother and daughter duo were charged with the death of one child and severe injury of another when they failed to retrieve the children from their van which was parked in the sun for almost 90 minutes back in the heatwave of July 2017.
The accused, Mary Taylor, 67, and Sandi Taylor, 31 who run Taylor Tots Daycare in Portales, appeared in a Roosevelt County courtroom for the first day of trial on 30 January, and the trial is expected to last till 7 February.
The duo had taken almost 12 children to lunch at the local park, and they unloaded all the children except 22-month old Maliyah Jones and two-year-old Aubrianna Loya. The kids suffered extreme heat exposure, according to a KAMC report.
The defense attorney, Tye Harmon, said he will prove this was all just a tragic accident, in his opening statement to the court. So far, five witnesses have taken to the stands, and these include the mother of the victims and also three Portales police officers who responded to the incident, reported KCBD.
The three officers presented the prosecutors with the 911 call as well as body cam footage of the officers retrieving the children from the car. KAMC also said that the jury and the families of the victims became emotional as they viewed footage of emergency responders trying to revive the deceased Maliyah and efforts to save Aubrianna.
Reports say that the children suffered from extreme heat exposure, leading to the death of Maliyah, and resulting in a critically injured Aubrey, who had to be airlifted to a Lubbock hospital for treatment.
A jury of nine men and seven women was impaneled for the trial and the unfortunate duo, mistake or not, is each facing one count of child abuse resulting in death and one count of child abuse resulting in great bodily harm.
Due to Mary and Sandi Taylor's extreme neglect and lack of better judgment, the mother and daughter have had to shut down their day-care facility Taylor Tots Day Care.
Mary and Sandi Taylor now face up to 18 years in prison.