CLOVIS, N.M. – A mother and daughter who are day care workers have been indicted on felony charges stemming from the death of a 1-year-old girl left in a hot car and the injury of another female toddler, prosecutors announced Friday.
The indictment charges Mary Taylor, 62, and Sandi Taylor, 31, both of Portales, New Mexico, with first-degree child abuse resulting in death and first-degree child abuse resulting in great bodily harm, the Ninth Judicial District Attorney's Office said.
Maliyah Jones died at a hospital the day of the July 25 incident outside a day care operated by the Taylors. The other toddler, Aubrianna Loya, remains hospitalized in critical condition.
A judge ruled Friday afternoon that the Taylors are eligible to post a $100,000 cash or surety bond and be released pending trial.
Defense attorney Tye Harmon didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the allegations.
Each felony count is punishable by up to 18 years in prison.
A previously released police affidavit for an arrest warrant said the children were left in a car when the Taylors returned from lunch at a park with another group of children.
About an hour and half later, Sandi Taylor found the children still in the car when she went to look for documents requested by the state Child, Youth and Families Department, the affidavit said.
The temperature in Portales that hit the mid-90s, according to the National Weather Service.
A police officer testified Thursday during a detention hearing for the Taylors that Sandi Taylor told him that procedures used in the past weren't used July 25, the Eastern New Mexico News reported.
That, Sgt. Nate Hyde said, "showed to me a total disregard for procedures to keep the children safe."
Erika Tafoya, Maliyah's mother, asked during the hearing that the defendants be held in custody without bond until trial.
"I don't know why they get to go home and be with her (Sandi Taylor's) baby, and I don't ever get to see my baby again," Tafoya told the judge.
Patsy Dodge, sister to Mary Taylor and aunt to Sandi Taylor, said family member would report any violations of court-ordered restrictions if the defendants are released pending trial.
"They're loving people. They love their children. They love the parents. The parents love them. They have parents still calling them concerned. Everybody's praying for them," Dodge said.
Information from: The Eastern New Mexico News, http://www.easternnewmexiconews.com