Wrongful Death Lawsuit Alleges Police Failed to Prevent Murder of Lt. Gov.’s Cousin, Amanda Mayne

Live Chat

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Alleges Police Failed to Prevent Murder of Lt. Gov.’s Cousin, Amanda Mayne

By Steven Jensen
April 9, 2024

The mother of Amanda “Mandy” Mayne, who was shot to death by her ex-husband in 2022, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit, through her attorneys at Parker & McConkie, against the Salt Lake City Police Department, claiming that officers failed to protect Mandy in days leading up to the murder, despite multiple warnings.  The high-profile case of domestic violence received significant attention as Mandy was the cousin of Utah Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson, who used the case to highlight failures in the system and pushed of changes to the law that govern how police respond to victims of domestic violence.

On August 17, 2022, Mandy was murdered by her ex-husband, Taylor Ray Martin. Mr. Martin had a history of violent, unstable behavior. In the years before Mandy’s murder, he was arrested no fewer than four times for violent crimes, including for domestic violence. In early 2018, he was sentenced to 365 days for various crimes.

By March 2019, he was released from jail. Fearing for her safety, Mandy moved in with family, petitioned for divorce, and changed her contact information. Even so, Mr. Martin was determined to find and confront her. And on August 15, 2022, he showed up at her work claiming to have been sent by a temp agency.

Soon after arriving, he saw Mandy and her boyfriend in the breakroom. He assaulted Mandy and began screaming at her boyfriend. Mandy’s coworkers called the police to the scene. During the ensuing investigation, Mr. Martin made statements that revealed his obsession with Mandy. Mandy, in turn, made a cry for help: she told the officers about Mr. Martin’s history of violence and expressed her belief that he was stalking her. She then asked for a protective order. At the conclusion of their investigation, the officers escorted Mr. Martin from the premises. Tellingly, Mr. Martin was reluctant to leave and told the officers they would have to kill him if they tried taking him back to jail.

The next day, Mandy’s employer received an email that threatened Mandy, her boyfriend, and their coworkers. It was signed by John Dillinger, a gangster from the early 1900s, who was killed by a federal officer after being betrayed by his girlfriend’s former employer. The officers followed up with Mandy and learned that an unknown number had sent a threatening message, saying, “I hope you get killed by a car or something this week[.]” (emphasis added). The following day—August 17, 2022—Mr. Martin ambushed and murdered Mandy while she waited for a bus to take her to work.

Mandy’s parents strongly believe that Mandy’s death could have been prevented. In January 2023, they attended a session of the Utah Senate as a bill requiring officers throughout the state to ask certain questions, known as a lethality assessment. As part of an ongoing effort to improve officer training relating to domestic violence, Mandy’s mother, Shauna Mayne, has hired the law firm of Parker & McConkie to file a lawsuit against Salt Lake City Police Department for its negligence, which resulted in the wrongful death of her daughter.

This lawsuit will challenge precedent from the Utah Supreme Court—the 1996 case of Tiede v. State—which precludes family members from suing when their loved ones have been lost to domestic violence that could have been prevented by law enforcement. Shauna Mayne hopes this lawsuit will bring much needed change: “It was heartbreaking to learn of the warning signs leading up to Mandy being ambushed and killed on her way to work. Her request for help went unanswered. Something very fundamental has to change.”

In a statement, Judson Burton, an attorney at Parker & McConkie, says the following: “As the grandson of a former officer for the Salt Lake City Police Department, I am personally grateful to all who serve to keep our communities safe. As citizens, we have an interest in ensuring that police receive the training and resources they need to carry out their missions. But we also have an obligation to help make families whole when they have lost loved ones due to such failures. In the end, this lawsuit alleges a claim for the wrongful death of Mandy against Salt Lake City Police Department and asks the courts to recognize that all citizens have a constitutional right to assert such a claim against a governmental entity when the death results from preventable, domestic violence.”

Parker & McConkie is also challenging the constitutionality of the same law in a similar lawsuit arising from the death of Gabby Petito in 2021.

A copy of the Mayne Complaint (Case No. 240902420) is available at this link: Mayne v. Salt Lake City – Complaint 03-22-2024

How Can We Help You?

Schedule a Free Consultation Now By Contacting Our Team at (801) 980-9708