Shanesha Taylor, the 35-year-old single mother of three from Phoenix who was arrested in March and charged with two counts of felony child abuse after leaving her 2-year-old and 6-month-old sons alone in a hot SUV while she attended a job interview, just caught a big break in court. Taylor had already pleaded not guilty to those charges and said that she was forced to leave her two kids unattended in the locked vehicle under the hot Arizona sun because she couldn’t secure a babysitter. Taylor’s third child was in school when she attended that job interview.
Prosecutors overseeing the case against Taylor came to an agreement with the single mom On July 18 and won’t be prosecuting her on those felony child abuse charges, as long as she meet certain conditions, according to Yahoo! News. Those conditions imposed by the office of Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery include “completing parenting and substance abuse treatment programs and establishing education and child care trust funds for her children.”
If she can fulfill those requirements as set forth by the court, the charges against her will be dismissed. The moms’ lawyer, Benjamin Taylor – no relation - said that the screening for possible substance abuse is standard protocol in these kinds of cases, adding that his client doesn’t have any substance abuse issues.
Taylor’s mugshot, which depicted her crying and sorrowful, garnered national attention for the single and unemployed mom. With her children placed into state care, an anonymous benefactor posted her bail. Money poured into a fund established in her name to help in her defense. On that day in March when Taylor left the kids inside the car, temperatures inside the vehicle had exceeded 100 degrees, even though she had the windows rolled down about an inch.
Following Friday’s plea arrangement, Taylor said “I'm grateful for the offer that was extended to me and the opportunity to resolve this situation as well as to show my intentions." To date, according to The Huffington Post, the fundraising website established in Taylor’s name has taken in more than $114,000 in donations. According to her lawyer, Taylor has put some of those funds toward a new place to live.
"You helped make today possible for me. You gave me life," Taylor said. "You provided a future for my children. I truly appreciate you."
Although Taylor’s two children left in that hot SUV are still under state care, she has been granted visitation rights. Under the supervision of a Child Protective Services agent, the single mom has had regular visits with her kids beginning last May. For more on Taylor's story, see the video accompanying this article.