Sentencing began Monday for Portales daycare workers Mary and Sandi Taylor.
Last month the two were found guilty of leaving two children in a hot car.
In July 2017, Mary and Sandi left 22-month old Maliyah Jones and a two-year-old in a car for nearly three hours.
Maliyah was pronounced dead at the scene, the two-year-old survived with critical injuries.
The judge heard statements from family members of both the victims and accused, then attorneys made their closing arguments. Despite family and friends of the Taylors pleading for probation or a reduced sentence, the Taylors received the maximum sentence of 36 years.
Judge Donna Mowrer said the reason was because of how careless they were on that hot July day.
“This entire situation is something more than an inadvertent failure to follow standard protocol. This as the evidence presented at trial demonstrated it was a day filled with reckless disregard for the safety of the children,” Mowrer said. “It was a day filled with short cuts and laziness. The sad fact is this entire incident was 100 percent preventable.”
Judge Donna Mowrer did take six years off the sentence of Sandi Taylor for her honesty with police from the start of the investigation.
The parents of Maliyah Jones said justice was served.
“I feel relieved to know they are being held accountable,” Erika Tafoia said. “I’m just really glad today and I feel so many emotions.”