CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – The young mother found guilty last week of attempted murder for putting her newborn baby in a dumpster in April 2015 was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Thursday.
Before the sentence was announced, a tearful Shelby Taylor apologized to her family for her actions.
"I just want to be a mom again," Taylor said. "I am a loving person; that was not me in my moment. I love my kids with all my heart. I regret this every single day." Taylor added, "I am very sorry and I love my kids with all my heart and I regret this every single day. I live it with it I go to bed with it. Hopefully, if you will let me one day I can be a mom again."
It was a week ago that a jury found Taylor guilty of attempted murder. The defense asked for a sentencing delay, saying they wanted the judge to have more time to review scientific evidence of transient peripartum psychosis around the U.S. to possibly lessen the sentence.
Taylor's attorney, Greg McCollum, said the defense was not arguing the facts and understood the charge. However, defense counsel simply pleaded for mercy, saying their client is not the what the prosecution made her out to be.
McCollum invited five people to speak on Taylor's behalf. Her grandmother, sister, friend, uncle, and pastor read letters aloud that showed support and love for her.
"We tried to show that was and isolated incident, an isolated conduct on her behalf that, you know, ultimately that she is not some type of inhumane monster, and so to present the evidence, friends, family and support, for lack of a better term, trying to humanize her, trying to have people see there is also a good, loving side to her," McCollum said.
Judge Robert Hood empathetically listened to everyone and gave time to the defense and prosecution. Before he read Taylor's sentencing, he said everyone should be thankful for the mother who asked her two teenage boys to take out the trash on that April day in 2015, or baby Trinity may have never been found.
"For whatever reason in God's providence, he decided to save Trinity that day and I only hope the best for her and for her sister and for her family, and that includes you Miss Taylor," Hood said.
Although he noted Taylor has no criminal history, Hood said what she did is a very serious crime that has serious implications. Tears flooded the courtroom as the judge read her 25-year sentence and said she cannot have any contact with the victim.
"For both the maternal and paternal that you guys come together to love these girls, they deserve both sides of you," Pam Sellers, a Department of Social Services representative, said to the court. "Trinity is a miracle and she is a survivor. I hope after today Trinity doesn't have to worry about being thrown in a dumpster again."
Taylor is not eligible for parole. Once released from prison, she will be monitored under community service for two years.