A Kanawha circuit judge has delayed sentencing for a woman convicted last month of child neglect after her infant son ingested meth.
At the end of Miranda Gale Taylor’s trial May 30, Judge Tod Kaufman scheduled a bond hearing for June 11 and a sentencing hearing for June 19.
On May 31, Kaufman entered a diagnostic order for Taylor to receive a 45-day diagnostic evaluation at the Lakin Correctional Facility, in Mason County, according to case records in the Kanawha Circuit Clerk’s Office.
Kaufman ordered Taylor “be immediately delivered” to the West Virginia Department of Corrections to be taken to Lakin Correctional Facility, the only all-female prison in West Virginia. Once the evaluation is completed, Kaufman ordered Taylor be sent back to South Central Regional Jail.
Taylor remained incarcerated at South Central Regional Jail Tuesday. She’s been incarcerated there since May 30.
Taylor’s bond hearing and sentencing hearings were taken off of Kaufman’s calendar pending the completion of the evaluation, as well as a pre-sentence report.
Diagnostic evaluations, as the name suggests, are evaluations completed by medical professionals to potentially diagnose people in the state’s custody who may have emotional, mental or other social conditions or illnesses.
Pre-sentence reports are completed after a defendant is found guilty of a crime. They include information about a defendant’s criminal, personal and familial background to determine how they may fare in probation instead of prison.
Defendants have the right to waive pre-sentence reports and be sentenced immediately after they are convicted of a crime.
Taylor was convicted at the end of a roughly day-and-a-half-long trial that was peppered with interruptions from her.
Taylor yelled at witnesses, who she said were lying. She also yelled at her attorney, telling him to ask certain questions or altogether shut up during the trial.
At one point during the trial, Taylor sat in the fetal position in the defendant’s chair and cried with her head resting on her knees.
Taylor’s attorney made at least three motions for a mistrial during the trial, but Kaufman denied them.
Kaufman ordered Taylor out of the courtroom during closing arguments after she interrupted her public defender multiple times. She watched the rest of the trial by video in a room adjacent to the courtroom.
While jurors deliberated her case, a bailiff tased Taylor during an altercation as he escorted her back to the courtroom.
In convicting Taylor, jurors found she was at a machine shop in Charleston, outside of city limits, on July 16, 2018, when she contacted her sister saying something was wrong with her 9-month-old son.
Emergency medical personnel took the baby to Charleston Area Medical Center Women and Children’s Hospital, where doctors found the infant had amphetamine in his body.
Doctors also found the baby to be at risk of kidney failure as a result of the amphetamine.
The baby was treated and monitored at the hospital for two days before he was released.
A new sentencing hearing had not been set for Taylor as of Tuesday, according to case records in the circuit clerk’s office.