The Texas mother who left her two young children in a hot car to “teach them a lesson,” and then they died in the vehicle, received 20 year prison sentences on Monday for each child.
A Parker County jury found Cynthia Marie Randolph, 25, guilty on two counts of reckless injury to a child in the deaths of her two-year-old daughter Juliet Ramirez and one-year-0ld son Cavanaugh Ramirez. The jury sentenced her to 20 years on each count. Jeff Swain, Parker County assistant district attorney, told reporters the sentences will run concurrently.
Breitbart Texas reported that on May 26, 2017, Randolph told police that her toddlers, Juliet and Cavanaugh, vanished, locking themselves in the sweltering SUV parked in Randolph’s driveway near Lake Weatherford, located around an hour west of Fort Worth. She claimed she later “found them unresponsive in the car” on a day when the temperature soared to 96 degrees.
Apparently, Randolph fabricated an elaborate story describing a frantic half-hour long search before finding the young children locked inside the car, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. She said she shattered a window to get to her daughter and son, then dialed 9-1-1. Parker County investigators said that when asked how long the children were inside the hot car, Randolph stated, “No more than an hour.” Medics pronounced the children dead at the scene around 4 p.m. that day.
A month later, though, police arrested Randolph after she admitted that little in her original story was true. As Breitbart Texas also reported, the Parker County Sheriff’s Office conducted an investigation that revealed Randolph was angry that day because the toddlers would not get out of the vehicle. She left them in the car at around 12:15 p.m. to “teach them a lesson.” Randolph, however, thought Juliet could get herself and Cavanaugh out of the the vehicle. Then, Randolph went inside her home, smoked marijuana, and napped for two to three hours. After she awoke, she discovered the children in the car and called police. Randolph also admitted to detectives she broke the car window to make it look like an accident.
CBSDFW reported that during the trial, jurors viewed 13 hours of video recorded interviews of Randolph conducted with a Texas Ranger. The footage displayed several different accounts given by Randolph as to what happened last May. Dr. Marc Krouse, the Chief Deputy Medical Examiner for Tarrant County, testified that the children died of exogenous hyperthermia, better known as heat stroke.
Jurors deliberated for less than one hour. They returned with a guilty verdict of two counts of reckless injury to a child. One of the prosecutors in this case, Kathleen Catania, commented: “We thought that the evidence supported a finding that she acted knowingly, which means that she knew that her actions were reasonably certain to cause the result, which, in this case, was her children’s deaths.”
The court then handed Randolph the maximum jail sentence, 20 years, for each child’s death.
“Pursuant to Texas law, the sentences will run concurrently,” said Swain. “Ms. Randolph will be eligible for parole when her actual time served plus her good time credit equals a quarter of her sentence. We hope that the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles keeps her in prison as long as they can because her actions caused the deaths of two innocent little children.”
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