N.M. Toddler Died in Hot Car After Being Left for 3 Hours by Woman and Daughter Who Ran Day Care
Their defense attorney says it was a tragic accident
A mother and daughter who operated a New Mexico day care are on trial in the death of a 22-month-old who was left in a hot car by the pair in 2017, according to multiple reports.
On Wednesday, Mary Taylor, 64, and daughter Sandi Taylor, 33, who operated Taylor Tots Daycare in Portales, appeared in a Roosevelt County courtroom for the first day of trial, KCBD, ABC7 and KAMC report.
The pair left 22-month-old Maliyah Jones and a 2-year-old in their car seats for 90 minutes in a van parked outside their day care on a hot day in July 2017. The 2-year-old was hospitalized in critical condition after the incident.
Each woman faces charges of child abuse resulting in the death of a child and child abuse causing great bodily harm, according to the stations.
The girls were left after a trip during day care to a local park for lunch. When they returned to the day care for nap time, the women unloaded the other children and brought them inside but allegedly forgot the two youngest girls, subjecting them to extreme heat exposure, KAMC reports.
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On Thursday, prosecutors presented body camera footage of the moment police recovered the girls from the vehicle, according to KCBD. The footage showed police finding Maliyah’s dead body while trying to save the other victim.
Five witnesses took the stand, including the mothers of the victims, the station reports.
In their opening statements, defense attorney Tye Harmon said he would argue the incident was a tragic accident.
The trial is expected to last until Feb. 7, according to ABC7.
Taylor Tot Daycare is now closed. Harmon could not be reached for comment Friday.