A Northern California mother who was convicted in the 2016 death of her 22-month-old son after she left him in the care of her boyfriend has been sentenced to prison.
On Friday, Rebecca Thomas, 36, was sentenced to 21 years in prison after being convicted in May, along with her live-in boyfriend Taylor Montgomery-Gutzman, of second-degree murder and felony child abuse for the death of Kash Thomas, KCRA, the Sacramento Bee and KTLA report.
While prosecutors say it was Montgomery-Gutzman, 23, who strangled Kash and abused his twin brother on Oct. 13, 2016, they say Thomas had left her sons in his care despite evidence of abuse.
On the day of Kash’s murder, paramedics responded to a call regarding a child not breathing and found the boy bleeding from his mouth with bruises on his face and a second-degree burn, similar to that of a cigarette burn, on his foot, the Bee reports. He had been strangled to death.
Sacramento County Child Protective Services files obtained by the Bee reveal Kash and his brother’s lives were not easy.
The twins were born prematurely at 32 weeks in a fragile state on Christmas Eve 2014. Due to medical conditions, Thomas was not able to bring the twins home until April 2015. Days later, however, she was accused of not giving her children proper care after she was seen by a hospital nurse feeding one of her twins with a bottle, which was not part of the special feeding instructions she had been given.
According to the CPS files, Thomas was at the hospital visiting her other son, who had been admitted after appearing pale and having breathing problems. Doctors later found baby formula in the back of the infant’s throat but were unable to determine whether or not the formula was there because Thomas had failed to follow feeding instructions, which included a feeding tube. The Bee reports CPS found a bottle in the boy’s crib afterwards.
Before Kash’s death, Thomas had seen evidence of child abuse on the twins and was told to seek medical care. Instead, she continued to leave the boys in Montgomery-Gutzman’s care.
Montgomery-Gutzman will be sentenced in October. He faces a maximum sentence of 31 years.