Prosecutors to seek child-abuse charges against Arizona mother

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 27, 2014 11:37 PM

By David Schwartz

PHOENIX (Reuters) - Arizona prosecutors are seeking child abuse charges against a woman who drew national attention when she left her two young sons in a hot car while she was at a job interview, after she failed to endow court-mandated trust funds for the children.

Prosecutors filed a motion in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix to revoke a plea deal with Shanesha Taylor that called for her to put $60,000 in child care and educational accounts by Monday.G

"Due to the defendant's failure to comply with the terms of the deferred prosecution agreement, the State has moved to reinstate prosecution," said Jerry Cobb, a spokesman for County Attorney Bill Montgomery.

Taylor was charged with two counts of felony child abuse for leaving her 6-month-old and 2-year-old boys in a parked vehicle in March with temperatures registering more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius). Police said the boys were sweating profusely and in obvious distress when they arrived on the scene.

Taylor's case, punctuated by the image of her tearful mug shot which was broadcast widely, drew national attention and helped generate nearly $115,000 in donations from an online fundraising effort.

As part of the plea deal, Taylor agreed to put $60,000 in the trust funds and attend parenting and substance abuse treatment classes. She also was able to regain custody of her children in August.

But on Monday, her attorney said at a court hearing that the 35-year-old Taylor remains unemployed and fears that she may need more of the money to live and provide for her children.

Benjamin Taylor, who is not related to his client, said the county attorney's decision to reinstate charges should be short-lived.

Taylor told Reuters that he believes he has an agreement with the county attorney to have the charges ultimately dropped after $40,000 is deposited in the trust funds by a Nov. 15 deadline.

"We are confident that this will all work out," he said.

(Editing by Curtis Skinner and Miral Fahmy)