Mom who left kids in hot car may avoid prosecution
PHOENIX (AP) — A deal with prosecutors would allow a Phoenix woman to avoid prosecution for leaving her two young sons alone in a hot car while she was at a job interview.
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said Friday his office and 35-year-old Shanesha Taylor have an agreement under which he’ll dismiss two felony child abuse charges against her if she meets several conditions.
Those include completing parenting and substance abuse treatment programs and establishing education and child care trust funds for her children.
Authorities arrested Taylor after bystanders in Scottsdale reported seeing her two sons alone in her car in March. Taylor told police that she wasn’t able to find a baby sitter for the boys, who were 2 years and 6 months old at the time.
A witness found the infant crying hysterically and sweating profusely as temperatures inside the SUV exceeded 100 degrees. According to court documents, firefighters found the vehicle’s windows rolled down an inch and no running air conditioning to keep the children cool.
While Montgomery has said his focus was on how the children were treated, Taylor drew sympathy from people who saw her as a single mother trying to get work.
An online fundraising website set up by a New Jersey woman brought in thousands of dollars in donations for her.
Montgomery calls the agreement a “just resolution” that holds Taylor accountable while serving the best interests of her family.
Taylor, who was scheduled to have a settlement conference in court Friday, previously pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In May, a court commissioner granted her visits with both children under the supervision of a Child Protective Services worker. She has been able to maintain steady visits since then, Taylor’s defense lawyer Benjamin Taylor said. The two are not related.
Shanesha Taylor has used some of the money to secure a new place to live, her lawyer said.