Shanesha Taylor gets public defender after lawyers withdraw from case

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

PHOENIX – The lawyers for a Phoenix woman accused of leaving her kids in a hot car during a job interview are off the case.

Shanesha Taylor has been assigned a public defender after a judge granted her lawyers' motions to withdraw.

Benjamin Taylor (no relation) told a judge he had an ethical conflict with Shanesha. John Agra, who had only been on the case a few days, told the judge she failed to pay him.

Both also said that a breakdown in communication and trust had occurred with the defendant.

Taylor was arrested March 20 after leaving her two young sons in her car for about 45 minutes while she interviewed for a job in Scottsdale.

Taylor received more than $100,000 in donations after her tearful mug shot went viral.

Prosecutors gave Taylor two separate deadlines to put money into a trust fund for her children and avoid charges, but she missed both deadlines and is facing two felony child abuse charges.

The original deal required Taylor to put $60,000 in trust funds for her three children. After a hearing in October, prosecutors agreed to reduce the dollar amounts to $10,000 in education trust funds for each of her three children for a total of $30,000 and an additional $10,000 for child care.

She said she didn't fund the trusts because her children won't get the money if they choose not to attend college.

Her trial is scheduled for Dec. 10.

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