Mom who left kids in hot car expecting major decision in case

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- The woman accused of leaving her two children in a hot car while she went on a job interview was in court for a status conference Monday morning to hear a "major decision" that "could also affect the outcome of her criminal case."

Shanesha Taylor's lawyer, Benjamin Taylor (no relation), planned to host a news conference Monday morning to discuss the decision.

Taylor, 35, is expected to be there, as well, to talk about how life has changed for her and her children.

In July, Taylor came to an agreement with prosecutors in which the Maricopa County Attorney's Office would drop the charges against her as long as she met several conditions. Among those conditions are the completion of parenting and substance abuse treatment programs and the establishment of education and child care trust funds for her children.

According to a news release sent on behalf of Benjamin Taylor, his client has been under the supervision of Child Protective Services and has been attending the required parenting classes. It was that release that described the expected decision as a "major" one that "could also affect the outcome of her criminal case."

Authorities arrested Taylor in March after bystanders in Scottsdale reported seeing her two sons alone in her car. Taylor told police that she wasn't able to find a babysitter for the boys, who were 2 years and 6 months old at the time. Her third child was in school at the time of the incident.

The case drew national attention, sparking a groundswell of support for Taylor.

An online fundraising website set up by a New Jersey woman brought in more than $114,000 in donations for her, according Benjamin Taylor.

Barred from seeing her children since the incident, Taylor regained custody of her boys in August.

Legal analysts and activists say the tentative resolution of Taylor's case highlights the fluid line between bad parenting and criminal behavior.

3TV and azfamily.com will cover the scheduled court proceeding and subsequent news conference.

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