Crime - Sacto 911

Man given 31 years to life in prison after strangling, abusing toddler twins

A Sacramento County man was given a lengthy prison sentence Thursday after being convicted of strangling a 22-month-old toddler to death and abusing his twin brother in 2016, the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office said.

Taylor Montgomery-Gutzman, 26, was sentenced to 31 years to life in prison for the murder of Kash Thomas and the child abuse of his brother. The twins’ mother and Montgomery-Gutzman’s girlfriend, Rebecca Thomas, had previously been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for assault on a child causing death, the District Attorney’s Office said.

On Oct. 13, 2016, Montgomery-Gutzman strangled Kash Thomas when their mother left the boys in his care. Montgomery-Gutzman was arrested by Citrus Heights Police Department in November 2016.

Sacramento County Child Protective Services records show that Kash was found bleeding from the mouth with bruises on his face and had suffered a burn on his foot possibly caused by a cigarette, according to previous reporting by The Bee.

Police had responded to the home in the 8000 block of Auburn Boulevard and found the boy not breathing.

Rebecca Thomas was aware of the abuse and had previously seen injuries on her children prior to the murder, the District Attorney’s Office said. She had been told to get medical attention for her sons, “but she failed to do so,” according to a news release.

Thomas had previously pleaded no contest to petty theft in 2012, was arrested for driving under the influence in 2013 and pleaded no contest to reckless driving in 2015, according to previous reporting by The Bee.

Molly Sullivan covers crime, breaking news and police accountability for The Bee. She grew up in Northern California and is an alumna of Chico State.