When her kids wouldn’t get out of the car fast enough, a Texas mom decided to teach them a lesson. Now, they are dead. She went to court and learned her fate. Was justice served?
Cynthia Marie Randolph, 25, won’t be winning any “Mother of the Year” awards after she was charged in the deaths of her two children when her punishment went too far. After becoming angry with her kids, whom she found playing inside her car in the driveway, Randolph told investigators that she left them inside the vehicle, assuming they could get out, The Washington Post reported.
Shockingly, the mother not only went inside, leaving her kids in the car, and smoked pot, but she also watched “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” before taking a two- or three-hour nap, never checking on her children. When she finally went back out to see if the children had learned their lesson, 2-year-old Juliet Ramirez and 16-month-old Cavanaugh Ramirez were unresponsive.
Randolph called for help, but it was too late. When medics arrived, both of her children were pronounced dead. That’s when the mother decided to fabricate a story to try to save her own backside. Randolph told investigators she had been folding laundry and watching television while Juliet and Cavanaugh played in an enclosed sunroom on the back porch.
Then, she alleged that she experienced every mother’s worst nightmare. Claiming she went to check on her children after about half an hour, she alleged they were suddenly “gone.” Randolph further claimed that she went on a frantic search, lasting half an hour, before finally spotting their lifeless bodies in her 2010 Honda Crosstour, parked in her driveway in Weatherford, Texas, where temperatures reached 96 degrees that day.
When questioned by authorities, Randolph was adamant that the children had not been exposed to the high temperatures inside the car for “no more than an hour.” However, things quickly began to unravel as she was further interviewed by investigators. Unable to keep her story straight, the mother “created several variations of the events,” according to police.
In fact, weeks into the investigation, Randolf gave an entirely different timeline of events, which began much earlier in the afternoon than she previously claimed. In that story, she said she had found her children playing inside her Honda just after noon, yelled at them, and ordered them to come out of the car. When they refused to exit, however, Randolph told police she shut the car door to teach Juliet a lesson, believing the toddler could get herself and her brother out of the car when ready.
The mother returned to the house, smoked weed and took a nap, after which she found the children unresponsive. Randolph told investigators she broke the car window so it would look like an accident. After the shocking admission, which came less than one month after her children tragically lost their lives, Cynthia Marie Randolph was arrested.
Randolph was indicted on two counts of knowingly causing serious injury to a child, a first-degree felony, which carried life sentences. She was convicted of a lesser charge, however. Instead, Randolph was found guilty of two counts of reckless injury to a child in the deaths. Each count, a second-degree felony, carried with it a maximum sentence of only 20 years in prison, which is what she was sentenced to serve. She will, however, serve both sentences simultaneously.
“Their lives were taken from them before they even had a chance to start,” prosecutor Abby Placke said in court. But, jurors did not find that Randolph had acted with criminal intent, resulting in the lesser charge. So, rather than life in prison, Randolph will serve a maximum of 20 years, should she serve her entire sentence, for killing both of her kids. This means she will be released before either of those children would have reached the age she was when she killed them. This has left many to say justice wasn’t served.
“We thought that the evidence supported a finding that she acted knowingly,” prosecutor Kathleen Catania said. “This distinction was a pretty challenging one for jurors to make. We appreciate the jury’s dedication throughout this long and emotional trial.”
With more than 700 children dying of heatstroke in hot cars over the past two decades, it’s hard to believe Randolph didn’t “act knowingly.” What’s more, she neglected to check on the children for many hours. Even if they had gotten out of the car on their own, as she claimed she thought they would be able to do, this is another admission of neglect.
When a mother gives her child a death sentence, one would think she should receive the same. The courts are supposed to teach people a lesson. Do you think this one succeeding in that? The only upside to this case is that this woman should, hopefully, be beyond her childbearing years by the time she is released, meaning she won’t have the opportunity to punish a child in such a way ever again.