They met as coworkers. Amanda “Mandy” Mayne, kind with a genuine smile and dreams of one day being a mother, was determined to make the relationship work. Her family says Taylor Martin was open about his mental health and his violent tendencies.

“We recognized danger signs the first time we met him, and we discouraged that relationship. In fact, I forbid them to get married. But they were determined to do so, and they went ahead and got married,” Mandy’s father, Kent Mayne, said on Monday.

After years of police reports, harassment and threats, Martin gunned down Mandy Mayne earlier this year. On Monday, her parents met with the Deseret News and KSL Editorial boards, with their niece Utah Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson, to speak in support of the Lethality Assessment Protocol, a simple set of questions they say can prevent certain domestic violence cases from turning fatal, but wasn’t used in Mayne’s case.

Just a few months after their wedding, Martin was convicted of a felony and spent about a year in jail. The couple’s reunification upon Martin’s release was short-lived, and Mandy ended the relationship. “In fact, (she) ran away from him, to my house,” Kent Mayne said.

Then came the harassment and threats. In December 2016, police investigated Martin for sending threatening messages to Mayne’s mother, Shauna, and was convicted of tampering with a witness. When he was later being booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for an unrelated incident, Martin said he planted a bomb at Shauna Mayne’s home (No bomb was found). In November 2017, he was convicted and spent a year in jail for threatening a judge.

Martin was put on parole, and the Maynes say the threats and harassment toward them and their daughter waned.

“Since we hadn’t heard from him for a year or two, we relaxed and hoped that he had just gone his way and was going to leave everyone alone,” Kent Mayne said.

Kent Mayne, left, and Shauna Mayne, talk about the killing of their daughter Amanda Mayne to members of the Deseret News editorial board members at the Triad Center in Salt Lake City on Monday, Dec. 19, 2022. | Ben B. Braun, Deseret News

But the menacing texts and stalking resumed, and on Aug. 15, 2021 Martin confronted Mayne and her new boyfriend at her workplace. Martin told police he took a work assignment from a temp agency that happened to be where Mayne was employed — Mayne said he was stalking her. She told police she wanted a protective order.

Police chased him off the property. While he was waiting for an Uber, Martin told police “it was good he wasn’t going back to jail because we would have to kill him first,” according to a police report. “He made statements that he is a black belt in karate and that if he sees Mandy and (redacted) in public he will fight (him).”

On Aug. 16, Martin made threats to Mayne’s workplace, before the family says he bought a “ghost gun,” an unregistered and untraceable weapon, constructed at home. Martin was a restricted felon, and not legally permitted to own a gun. Still, he was able to buy ammunition and magazines for the gun at a sporting goods store that day.

And on Aug. 17, Martin stalked Mayne to a bus stop at about 5 a.m. and shot her 11 times, killing the 34-year-old, before turning the gun on himself. She had a domestic violence pamphlet in her pocket, her family says.

“This is something that has been very difficult for our family, very shocking. Something that you can’t possibly prepare for. Something that you hear about happening to other people,” said Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson, Mayne’s cousin.

Help for people in abusive relationships is available in Utah and nationwide

  • YWCA’s Women in Jeopardy program: 801-537-8600
  • Utah statewide Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-897-LINK (5465) and
  • 24-hour Salt Lake victim advocate hotline: 801-580-7969
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233

Henderson spoke alongside Utah Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, Utah Department of Public Safety Commissioner Jess Anderson, and Kent and Shauna Mayne, Mandy’s parents, during a Deseret News Editorial Board meeting Monday afternoon. All of them are throwing their support behind expanding Utah’s Lethality Assessment Protocol.

An assessment that essentially grades the danger presented to a victim of intimate partner violence, Mayne’s parents say it’s a tool that could have saved their daughter’s life.

“We feel like an opportunity was lost at her workplace ... that if there could have been a lethality assessment done for Mandy and some other victims advocates perhaps involved in the situation sooner, that they might've been able to offer Mandy some protection,” said Kent Mayne.

A lethality assessment asks a victim of an intimate partner violence questions like: Has the person ever used a weapon against the victim? Has the person threatened to kill the victim or the victim’s children? Is the person violently or constantly jealous?

Based on the number of “yes” answers — with extra weight added to questions dealing with immediate safety or a crime — the victim is then put in touch with a 24-hour domestic violence hotline. The hotline advocate then uses the assessment, encouraging the victim to access resources like legal services, crisis counseling or a shelter.

Roughly half of the state’s police departments conduct lethality assessments — the Salt Lake City Police Department, which was investigating Mayne’s case, did not.

Now, ahead of the upcoming legislative session, Weiler says he will run a bill that mandates all Utah law enforcement agencies conduct a lethality assessment for every instance of intimate partner violence. That score will be included on the probable cause statement for judges and prosecutors to see.

“Had this legislation been in place, the idea is that it would have been assessed at that workplace, but maybe a couple of times before then, based on Mandy’s history,” Weiler said, adding that he also hopes to see the issue of ghost guns, and a restricted person’s access to ammunition, tackled in the legislature.

The governor’s budget that came out several weeks ago is proposing $53 million for victim services — Henderson said that money can fund departments who will need to adopt the standardized assessment if Weiler’s bill becomes law, and be used to hire more service providers.

“If every single law enforcement officer who goes to an intimate partner violence scene does a (Lethality Assessment Protocol), there will be more need for more providers,” she said.

Anderson says the assessment will also be analyzed by Department of Public Safety officials.

Commissioner Jess Anderson meets with members of the Deseret News editorial board at the Triad Center to discuss domestic violence in Salt Lake City on Monday, Dec. 19, 2022. | Ben B. Braun, Deseret News

Not only will the assessment be a valuable tool for addressing victims, Henderson says, but it will also help law enforcement keep better tabs on the aggressors. Too often, law enforcement view instances of intimate partner violence as “a single event,” she said.

“When you’re pulled over and they run your driver’s license, they can see how many tickets you’ve had, they can see if you’ve been let off with a formal warning for seatbelt violation and maybe the next time you get pulled over for a seatbelt violation, they’re not going to give you a warning again, they’re going to give you a ticket,” she said. “There’s nothing like that for law enforcement when it comes to domestic violence.”

Holding up a sheet of paper detailing Martin’s lengthy criminal history — starting with a manifesto he wrote in high school where he threatened to kill former Gov. Gary Herbert — Henderson said implementing a standardized assessment across police departments will give officers a more holistic perspective.

“Law enforcement needs a tool to be able to tell when a perpetrator is escalating,” she said.

Kent and Shauna Mayne had never heard of a lethality assessment until Mandy’s death. But they hope that through Weiler’s bill, it will prevent other victims from suffering the same fate as their daughter. “We miss Mandy terribly, especially this time of the year,” Kent said on Monday.

“She was a joy. It was a pleasure to be her mother,” said Shauna.

Shauna Mayne talks about the killing of her daughter Amanda Mayne to members of the Deseret News editorial board members at the Triad Center in Salt Lake City on Monday, Dec. 19, 2022. | Ben B. Braun, Deseret News