The Arizona mom who won national sympathy after she was arrested for leaving her kids in a hot car while she interviewed for a job will have her charges dropped if she completes a diversion program, according to her spokesman and Maricopa County prosecutors.
Shanesha Taylor, 35, was arrested in Scottsdale in March for leaving her two-year-old and six-month-old in her vehicle during a 45-minute job interview at an insurance office. Taylor, whose tearful booking photo inspired widespread support and more than $100,000 in donations, said she was unemployed and had no access to childcare. Temperatures in the car had allegedly topped 100 degrees before she returned.
According to a spokesman for Taylor, she will have to undergo 26 weeks of counseling and will need to set up a trust fund for the kids' college education. The spokesman said Taylor had already intended to use the donations for that purpose.
Prosecutor Bill Montgomery said that “based on 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.”
"The stipulations of this agreement also ensure that pledges of support from members of the public will have a meaningful and positive impact," added Montgomery.
Taylor will next try to regain custody of her children, said her spokesman. The children are currently in state custody.
First published July 18 2014, 11:10 AM
Tom Winter is a producer and reporter for the NBC News Investigative Unit based in New York. He covers crime, courts, terrorism, and financial fraud on the East Coast.
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Previously he has covered high-profile criminal trials, including those of George Zimmerman, Jerry Sandusky trial and Martha Stewart. In addition, he has covered major breaking news events such as the shootings at Virginia Tech and Elementary in Newtown, Conn., and the bombing of the Boston Marathon. While in the New York Bureau, he also covered several hurricanes and natural disaster events.
Winter has over 10 years of experience in radio, television, and online writing and production. He started his career at NBC News as an intern on the TODAY Show and has worked at NBC station WCAU in Philadelphia as well as the National News Desk and the New York Bureau.