Judge sentences Portales daycare owners to prison

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.

Judge Donna J. Mowrer heard emotional statements today from the mothers of the two girls, and other family members in the case.  Mary Taylor was sentenced the maximum of 36 years in prison.  Sandi Taylor was sentenced 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.

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