By John Lauritsen


MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — After an emotional morning in court Friday, an Apple Valley father received jail time and probation for the death of his son Riley.

In May, 26-year-old Kristopher Taylor left his son alone in a hot vehicle for 6 hours while he worked at Grill Fest at CHS Field.

He left the window slightly cracked when he left.

It’s believed that temperatures inside the SUV reached 100 degrees. When Taylor got off work that evening he found Riley unresponsive and took him to Regions Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

“I think about it every day to go back and change what I did,” said Taylor in court. “Every time I breathe, every time I wake up, yes I think about him. Yes, I dream about him. I wish he was here next to me.”

In August, he pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree manslaughter.

The judge noted that Taylor has taken responsibility from the beginning. He has no criminal history and was working multiple jobs to support his family. The judge received several letters describing Taylor as a good father. One of those came from the boy’s mother. It said, “every bit of me knows what happened wasn’t intentional, and that the loss of our precious boy will hurt for eternity.”

“I miss my son. A lot,” said Taylor. “And no one can hate me more than I hate myself.”

The judge ultimately sentenced Taylor to serve the first six months of his sentence in jail or the county workhouse and be on electronic home monitoring after that. But he had another message for Taylor.

“I know you say you are going to punish yourself and hate yourself, but if you could take that love and support that everyone is surrounding you with and channel that into doing something spectacular for your son– would be a far better use of your emotions than hating yourself,” said Judge Robert Awsumb.

As part of the sentencing, the judge also gave Taylor 10 years probation.

And he will continue to go through grief counseling.

John Lauritsen

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