64ºF

Macclenny mom gets 12 years for poisoning baby with Tylenol

Shauna Taylor convicted of aggravated child abuse, child neglect

Shauna Taylor appears in court for sentencing.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Macclenny woman was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years in prison for poisoning her prematurely born infant, causing liver failure for the girl. 

Shauna Dee Taylor, who was convicted in August of aggravated child abuse and child neglect, was also sentenced to 15 years of probation after her release from prison. 

She did not speak at the sentencing.

Investigators found that in 2013, Taylor poisoned the child by giving her Tylenol at Wolfson Children's Hospital in Jacksonville and inside their Baker County home. 

According to prosecutors, Taylor gave birth to a premature child in November 2012. Days after the child was treated and released to Taylor's care in February 2013, Taylor returned to the hospital with the infant on three occasions.

Each hospital visit included exaggerated or falsified symptoms of the child's health. During the third hospital visit, the infant went into liver failure.

While the child was receiving treatment, several anonymous tips were made to the child abuse hotline claiming Taylor had Munchausen by proxy and was abusing the infant. The tips also pointed to Taylor's Facebook page, which guided visitors to a fundraising site for her child.

Munchausen by proxy, a mental illness also known as “medical child abuse,” is a rare form of child abuse or neglect caused by a primary caregiver who falsifies, exaggerates or induces a child’s illness, leading to unnecessary and potentially harmful medical treatment.

Authorities said they later learned Taylor was poisoning the baby inside the hospital.

"While the child was admitted to the hospital, she would be there with the child and while she was there she would administer the Tylenol to continue the abuse," Baker County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Tracie Benton, the lead detective on the case, told News4Jax in August.

Ultrasounds of the girl's liver showed abnormalities, and blood tests turned up high levels of iron. Authorities said Taylor was informed of the results and the child's iron levels and liver function returned to normal on their own while under hospital observation. 

Investigators also learned Taylor had a history of medical child abuse with her nine other children. Her parental rights for each child were revoked.

Benton said last she heard, the girl is doing well.


About the Author: