Trial looms for daycare workers who allegedly left children in hot car
June 20, 2018 09:01 AM
PORTALES, N.M.—Almost a year has passed since two girls were allegedly left in a hot car by two daycare workers. One-year-old Aubrianna Loya was in critical care, but 22-month-old Maliyah Jones died.
With the September 24 trial looming, families of the girls want to keep a defense witness from testifying. On Tuesday, a motion hearing was held at the 9th Judicial District Court in Portales.
Families of the two girls and the family of the daycare workers, Sandi and Mary Taylor, were in attendance. They both listened to Dr. David Diamond, a scientist from Florida. The defense wants him to explain how someone could forget a child in a car.
He said it’s not about “forgotten baby syndrome," but the issue is about losing awareness.
On July 25, 2017, Dr. Diamond said there were many factors that lead to the Taylor sisters losing awareness and leaving the girls inside a hot car.
“At the moment the person is driving, we know that stressful events right at that time makes the person focus on the stress itself and from that moment on, the person loses awareness.”
He said sleep deprivation, change in routine and stress can cause someone to lose awareness. But the biggest factor, in this case, was stress, according to Dr. Diamond.
He said the stressful moment the Taylor sisters encountered was when a child soiled themselves at a park.
The sisters and children were stressed with the incident and hurried back to the center.
When someone forgets something, a cue is needed to reactivate the memory mentioned Dr. Diamond.
He said the Taylor sisters’ routine had been disrupted when a child allegedly closed the car door, instead of one of the sisters.
Dr. Edward Siegel, a psychiatrist in Santa Fe, was at the motion hearing as a plaintiff's witness.
Dr. Siegel agreed that cues are needed to remind someone on what they usually do, but that the sisters had plenty of cues.
He said that first thing would be the mats at the daycare and another would be that the sisters said they are a tag team, checking on each other to make sure they stay on top of things.
Dr. Siegel said the one thing they forgot to do that could’ve reminded them of Jones and Loya, was a part of their job.
"(According to an interview with police) I believe Sandi Taylor said that we do a head count. I guess the police officer asked her do you have some sort of method to keep in track, something along those lines,” said Dr. Siegel.
Sandi Taylor said she didn’t do a head count that day and doesn’t know why she didn’t, added Dr. Siegel.
Dr. Siegel said forgetting is a normal thing, but Dr. Diamond’s scientific explanation is not needed at trial.
“So the granular science is very technical, but the everyday understanding of the same process is pretty straightforward and really as humans, we understand how it works,” said Dr. Siegel.
The District Court Judge Donna J. Mowrer plans on giving her decision July 2. Sandi and Mary Taylor face up to 18 years in prison.
Updated: June 20, 2018 09:01 AM
Created: June 19, 2018 07:31 PM
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