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Jury finds Citrus Heights mom, boyfriend guilty in strangling death of 1-year old

Rebecca Thomas and Taylor Montgomery-Gutzman
Booking photos of Rebecca Thomas and Taylor Montgomery-Gutzman, from 2016. // Courtesy, CHPD

Sentinel staff report–
The district attorney’s office announced Tuesday that a verdict was reached by a jury in the case of a 22-month-old child who was strangled to death in Citrus Heights two years ago.

Rebecca Thomas, 36, and her 26-year-old boyfriend Taylor Montgomery-Gutzman were both convicted by a jury of second-degree murder of Kash Thomas and felony child abuse involving his 22-month-old twin brother, the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release. Montgomery-Gutzman was also found guilty of assault on a child causing death.

The child’s death occurred on Oct. 13, 2016, when police responded to the 8000 block of Auburn Boulevard and found him “not breathing.” He was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Following a police investigation, authorities determined the child did not die of natural causes and arrested the couple several weeks after the incident occurred.

The DA’s office said a jury found Montgomery-Gutzman had strangled Kash Thomas to death, and the child’s mother “had seen injuries on her children prior to the murder, but nonetheless left the 22-month-old twins in Montgomery-Gutzman’s care.”  Thomas had also been told to seek medical attention for both children, but did not do so.

Montgomery-Gutzman faces a maximum sentence of 31 years to life in prison, while the children’s mother is facing up to 21 years to life in prison. A sentencing date has been set for July 12 at 9 a.m.

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