Prosecutors Drop Charges Against Black Single Mom Who Left Kids In Car During Job Interview
The job-seeking Phoenix mother whose tearful mugshot spawned worldwide support after she was arrested for leaving her children in the car in Scottsdale will have her case dismissed if she successfully completes a diversion program, according to a statement from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.
Via AZ Central reports:
Shanesha Taylor was arrested in March after police said she left her two children in her Dodge Durango for 45 minutes while in a Farmers Insurance office in Scottsdale. Taylor told police she was jobless, without child care that day and had occasionally been homeless.
Dressed in black slacks and a lime cardigan, a composed Taylor attended a settlement conference at Maricopa County Superior Court Friday morning.
County Attorney Bill Montgomery released a statement about an hour before the conference that detailed the agreement he had reached with Taylor’s attorneys.
The agreement requires Taylor to complete parenting and substance-abuse classes and to establish education and child-care trusts for each of her three children, according to Montgomery’s office. Each education trust must have at least $10,000 in it.
Since her arrest, a charity fundraising page at youcaring.com set up on Shanesha Taylor’s behalf has raised more than $114,775 from 4,052 donors to assist with her legal fees and other expenses. Experts say that puts Taylor just behind the most notable group of crowd-funded charity recipients: a handful of Boston Marathon bombing victims who raised more than $100,000 each.
Taylor has to submit documentation of the accounts to prosecutors to ensure the conditions are met, according to Montgomery’s office.
If Taylor fails to live up to the terms of the agreement, Montgomery said the criminal charges against Taylor would be reinstated. A Republic review of about 10 cases over the last 30 years in which children were left in hot cars but remained unharmed shows that this kind of offer is not uncommon.
Over the years, parents who left children in cars have been offered probation, had charges dropped or were able to plea to lesser charges. Roughly 31 children have died in hot cars since 1990 according to numbers from kidsandcars.com and The Republic.
In the courtroom, Judge Joseph Welty went over the details of the agreement with Taylor, asking her, “Is this something you want to do?”
“Yes, your honor,” Taylor replied.
“Based on all the facts and circumstances in this matter, we believe this agreement represents a just resolution that appropriately holds the defendant accountable for her actions while also recognizing the best interests of her family,” said Montgomery said in a statement. “The stipulations of this agreement also ensure that pledges of support from members of the public will have a meaningful and positive impact,” he added.
The ironic thing is that all the people who are condemning her for leaving the children in the car, are the same people who would judge her for being on welfare and not trying hard enough to find a job. Do you think this woman should have been arrested?