BG mom sentenced for injuries to child
Written by BILL RYAN Sentinel Staff Writer
Friday, 17 May 2013 09:17
A very tragic situation resulted in the young mother of an infant being ordered to prison Friday morning because she lost control.
|Erin Taylor reacts while speaking to the court. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
On April 26, 2012, Erin Taylor’s infant son was taken to Wood County Hospital for what was reported as seizures. But it was worse than that.
This morning Judge Reeve Kelsey ordered Taylor to spend 18 months in prison for endangering children in regard to the injuries she inflicted upon her son.
When given the chance to speak, Taylor broke down and cried with her hands covering her eyes and face. After gaining enough composure to speak, she breathlessly sobbed as she admitted, “I do realize what I did was wrong.”
She said she does “not deal with things the same way others do” and as to her son “as of now, he is OK.”
The young boy was found to have a fractured skull and other bleeding on his brain causing some blindness and other complications. Pediatric medical experts determined the child had physical problems received from violent shaking.
Taylor, formerly of Bowling Green, pleaded guilty March 20 to the reduced charge, a third degree felony. She was originally charged with a second-degree offense. Her sentence could have been up to three years in prison.
Taylor, 20, was 19 at the time and told the judge, “I will work to be the best mom I can be for him because that’s what he deserves.”
Taylor’s attorney, Scott Coon, asked Kelsey to not send her to prison, requesting community control sanctions.
Coon asked the judge to consider her lack of a prior record and her genuine remorse noting, “She feels horrible.”
Coon also said his client has “mental health issues and is in treatment” for those matters. He called her a “young mother without coping skills” and said she was dealing with depression.
Her attorney also cited her lack of having positive people available to assist her with the rigors of caring for a young child.
As for punishment, Coon suggested, “She has been punished. She understands what she has done and she will have to live with that the rest of her life.”
Assistant Wood County prosecuting attorney Gwen Howe-Gebers recommended a prison sentence as she explained to the judge that in her view, though, Taylor is remorseful,
“She does not totally grasp the gravity of what she did to her child.”
Following the extensive injuries caused by what is often called “shaken baby,” her then 5-month-old son did suffer some blindness in both eyes.
Howe-Gebers told the court, “Fortunately there is not permanency in his blindness.”
The prosecuting attorney countered Coon’s argument regarding Taylor’s age and lack of support or coping skills, that there were things she could have done without shaking her child.
The judge detailed some of his reasoning in ordering a prison sentence noting that despite her “genuine remorse,” her crime was “exacerbated by the age of the child” and her relationship with him.
The judge reviewed her appellate rights and ordered the required three years of post-release control sanctions she will face when released from prison.
A deputy with the Wood County Sheriff’s office immediately took her into custody.
During the proceedings many members of the gallery including friends and family of Taylor were also crying. There were also 10 people in matching T-shirts who attended in support of shaken baby victims.