Phoenix mom who left kids in car regains custody of sons
Shanesha Taylor, 35
Shanesha Taylor with lawyer following hearing (Source: CBS 5 News)
(Source: CBS 5 News)
Shanesha Taylor, 35
SCOTTSDALE, AZ (CBS5/AP) -
A Phoenix woman who left her two children in a hot car while she attended a job interview has regained custody of her two children.
Shanesha Taylor, 35, was barred from seeing her two young sons after her March 20 arrest and only had visitation rights before Thursday's court decision.
Taylor signed a deferred prosecution agreement to avoid jail time and her attorney said she's been holding up her end of the bargain.
The state made a deal that she had to take parenting classes and create a childcare and education trust.
Taylor, whose case has garnered national attention on social media, was granted the supervised visits with her 2-year-old and now 8-month-old sons by a Maricopa County Superior Court commissioner while she was awaiting a Sept. 4 trial on two felony charges of child abuse. Taylor previously pleaded not guilty to the charges.
If Taylor hadn't complied to the terms of the agreement, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office would proceed with prosecution of the charges filed against her.
Scottsdale police arrested Taylor after a witness heard a child crying inside a Dodge Durango parked in an office complex parking lot at 9700 N. 91st St. in Scottsdale about 12:30 p.m. on March 20.
The witness said the SUV was parked directly in the sun with the engine off, the doors closed and four windows slightly open.
Taylor returned to the vehicle about 45 minutes later and told the officer she had just finished a job interview and did not have anyone to watch her children.
"She was upset. This is a sad situation all around. She said she was homeless. She needed the job. Obviously, not getting the job. So it's just a sad situation," said Scottsdale police Sgt. Mark Clark.
Montgomery said the investigation revealed Taylor was working, had a home address and was not homeless as initially believed.
"We've learned since that she actually had part-time employment, so she wasn't unemployed, and she actually had a residence listed, so she wasn't really homeless," Montgomery said. "Nonetheless, those two children were still in jeopardy under the circumstances."
Through the online fundraising site, YouCaring.com, more than $114,000 has been raised for the Valley mom.
The organizer of the fundraiser, Amanda Bishop, has been giving updates on her Facebook page, listed on the YouCaring.com page. She posted this message, reportedly from Taylor:
"Thank you to all who love and support me. I am home and safe. I was released early monday morning by the grace of god. And the charity of a wonderful church community here in Chandler, AZ. I appreciate everyone who felt move enough to help a complete stranger. I LOVE you all. As to the comments that this fund is fraudelent, please understand there are a lot of people looking to profit from my misfortune. This fund is absolutely real and my first disbursement is pending in my account. Again thank you all for you support. My family and I greatly appreciate it. "
Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.