*The Phoenix woman who left her two young sons alone in a hot car while she was at a job interview struck a deal on Friday that would allow her to avoid prosecution.
Shanesha Taylor was to face being tried on two felony child abuse charges. After striking the deal, she said gratitude was what she felt.
“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,” said Taylor, who shed a few tears while standing outside the courthouse.
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said his office has reached an agreement with Taylor, 35, who is a mother of three. The stipulations say he’ll dismiss the charges against her if she meets several conditions; such as completing parenting and substance abuse treatment programs and establishing education and child care trust funds for her children.
Taylor was arrested after bystanders in Scottsdale reported seeing her two sons alone in her car last March. The mother 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. The third child was in school at the time of the incident.
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.
Many people supported Taylor, and an online fundraising campaign set up by a New Jersey woman drew more than $114,000 as women (especially) appreciated the fact that Taylor was a single mother seeking employment. The D.A. says that his focus was on how the children were treated.
Though Taylor didn’t answer questions, she thanked supporters who sent cards and money; and has since used some of the money to secure a new place to live, her lawyer said.
“You helped make today possible for me. You gave me life,” Taylor said. “You provided a future for my children. I truly appreciate you.”
Montgomery called the agreement a “just resolution” that holds Taylor accountable while serving the best interests of her family.