Judge tells Phoenix mom who left kids in car to fund trusts

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- The Phoenix 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.

Shanesha Taylor and her lawyer, Benjamin Taylor (no relation), held a news conference Monday morning to discuss the status conference.

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.

She has not set up the trust funds and a Maricopa County Superior Court judge was concerned about the delay. The judge gave Taylor until Oct. 27 to establish the trusts and told her that if she doesn't, the prosecution could withdraw the plea deal.

Taylor's lawyer confirmed that his client will fund the trusts by the deadline and said he has been discussing the legal requirements with trust attorneys and the state.

An online fundraising website set up by a New Jersey woman brought in more than $114,000 in donations for Taylor, according to her lawyer. Benjamin Taylor said $60,000 of that is going to the trust funds for the children.

Taylor, 35, was barred from seeing her two young sons after her March 20 arrest. Bystanders reported seeing Taylor's boys alone in her car in Scottsdale. Taylor told police that she wasn't able to find a babysitter for the boys, who were 2 years old and 6 months old at the time.

She regained custody of her sons in August.

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. On Monday, he said the CPS case has been dismissed.

Taylor said she completed the substance abuse classes and that the parenting classes "have helped out a lot."

Taylor said she has been having difficulty finding employment and said it's partly due to the media attention her case has garnered and partly because of the incident.

"We live pretty slim right now," she said. "Right now we are surviving off of the funds that were donated by the public, but a good portion of those are getting ready to be turned over to the state so the remaining amount is not going to sustain us for very long, which is why I've been looking for work."

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