A Texas mother who watched Keeping Up With the Kardashians while her two kids died inside her hot car has been sentenced to 20 years behind bars. Cynthia Marie Randolph was found guilty of two counts of reckless injury to a child after her young children, Juliet, 2, and Cavanaugh, 16 months, were found dead of heatstroke insider her locked Honda Crosstour last year.
According to testimony, Cynthia got angry after she caught her kids playing in the car on May 26, 2017. Believing her oldest daughter would be able to get out of the vehicle herself with her baby brother, she returned to her house, smoked marijuana, and watched KUWTK before taking a long nap. "When they refused to exit, Randolph told police she shut the car door to teach Juliet a lesson, thinking she could get herself and her brother out of the car when ready,” stated a probable cause affidavit, The Washington Post reports. "The defendant said she was asleep for two or three hours."
After waking up, she found her children unresponsive in the car. Medics pronounced Juliet and Cavanaugh dead at the scene, with temperatures inside the car estimated to be around 140 degrees.
Initially, Cynthia told police that her kids had escaped from an enclosed sunroom while she was doing laundry. When she went to go look for them, she claimed they were "gone" and after a 30-minute search she found them unresponsive. She later confessed and admitted to intentionally breaking the window of the car to make it look like an accident as well. Despite the verdict, the jury did not find Cynthia guilty of criminal intent or believed that she closed the door on her kids herself.
Each charge of reckless injury to a child carries a maximum 20 years in prison, which she will serve concurrently. "The deaths of these children and the culpability of their mother in causing that dictated that she be sentenced to prison," Assistant District Attorney Abby Placke told KTVT. "Their lives were taken from them before they even had a chance to start."
If you see a child alone in a car, you are advised to call 911 immediately or break into the car during an emergency, according to The National Safety Council.