Following five years in prison, Taylor Ainsworth-Hudson, 28, will serve five years of probation before being released from prison for abusing her stepson.
A young child who had been abused and was hiding inside a washing machine was found by law authorities in Midwest City in August 2018, over five months after the defendant had first been arrested. While police investigated the home, Ainsworth-Hudson and her then-boyfriend Cody Wayne Hudson, 33, whom she later married, had instructed the youngster to remain inside the big appliance.
“To put clothes in front to try to hide him, so the police can’t find him, and threaten him if he says anything, it’s just very sad,” Midwest City Assistant Police Chief Sid Porter said at the time, in comments reported by Houston, Texas-based ABC affiliate KTRK.
The abuse was discovered after Ainsworth-Hudson’s sister made a report to police in Midwest City – saying the defendant, six months pregnant at the time, had admitted to beating Hudson’s son.
The couple first told police that the boy was staying with Ainsworth-Hudson and had been there for several days.
Law enforcement very nearly did not find the child in question and had already left the house on McGregor Drive when they received additional information, according to court documents obtained by The Oklahoman. The second search resulted in officers finding the boy “in the washing machine, covered by a blanket,” authorities wrote.
The 9-year-old’s body was covered in bruises, police noted, from the very top of his head to the very bottom of his legs.
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Hudson took responsibility for all of the child’s injuries. Meanwhile, Ainsworth-Hudson professed shock – telling police she was on ordered bed rest and had no idea the boy was even in the house.
During a forensic interview, however, the victim said Ainsworth-Hudson was responsible for a great deal of the abuse.
Pointing at his injuries, the boy told investigators that the defendant bit him several times, choked him, stomped on him, and told him: “shut up or I’ll beat you more.” On another occasion, the boy said, the woman used his own shirt to choke him while she was beating him with a spatula and telling the young child that no one liked him, court documents obtained by the Oklahoman said.
During the sentencing hearing, Oklahoma County District Court Judge Amy Palumbo consulted photo evidence, the newspaper reported. Directing her speech to the defendant as she reviewed an image, the judge said the boy’s body “literally looks like Swiss cheese.”
Palumbo added that the abuse “would horrify any parent.”
The judge would describe the sentence as the result of the defendant’s “systematic and ongoing bad decisions,” according to a courtroom report by Oklahoma City-based NBC affiliate KFOR. The judge reportedly said she spent some time reviewing, comparing, and contrasting the details of the case in order to reach her decision.
Opinions were divided on the sentencing.
“I believe the decision that the judge made today was a just one and a fair one,” defense attorney Joy Miskel said in comments reported by the TV station. “Ms. Hudson was very young when this happened. She’s grown up a lot, and I think she’s understood the errors of her ways. I don’t think she’s going to come out and re-offend whatsoever.”
A family member took the opposite perspective.
“[The children] were withheld from food and drink [and] they were subjected to beatings everywhere,” cousin Jamie Solis Douglas said, KFOR reported. “How could a biological or step parent at all lay their hands continuously over and over and over on a 9-year-old and a 6-year-old. [She is] a monster, just a horrible, horrible monster and a very egregious person all around.”
In February, Hudson pleaded guilty to one count of felony child abuse. He was
sentenced to one year in the Oklahoma County jail – which is reportedly a worse lockup than the state prison – with credit for time served, and 20 years of probation.
Ainsworth-Hudson entered a blind plea on her felony child abuse charge – leaving the judge latitude in sentencing.
The judge mused during the sentencing hearing that things could have easily gotten far worse in the Hudson house.
“I have no idea what kind of charges you and he would’ve been facing,” if police had not turned around that pivotal day and eventually searched the washing machine, Palumbo said.
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