Feb. trial set for Phoenix mom who left kids in car during job interview

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- A new trial date has been scheduled for a Phoenix mother who left her kids in a hot car while she went on a job interview.

Shanesha Taylor's trial in Maricopa County Superior Court had been set for Dec. 10, but a judge on Wednesday rescheduled it for Feb. 24 as her new lawyer was recently appointed to the case and needs time to prepare.

Taylor is facing two felony child-abuse charges after failing to set up a trust fund for her children, which was a condition of a deal that would have allowed charges to be dismissed. The money was to come from the more than $114,000 submitted through online donations.

The original deal required Taylor to put $60,000 in a trust fund for her three children. After a hearing in October, prosecutors agreed to reduce the dollar amount to $40,000 -- $30,000 for education and $10,000 for child care.

Prosecutors said Taylor has spent about $4,100 per month, including more than $1,000 in non-essential items such as cable TV, clothing and dining.

There also have been reports that Taylor financed a rap album for the father of her children.

"That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard in my life," Taylor told reporters after Wednesday's court appearance. "No way, shape or form did I buy anybody's rap album, pay for their rap album, no way."

Taylor said she isn't living an extravagant lifestyle and is still looking for work. She also said she has funded the trust but cannot disclose the amount.

Taylor was arrested March 20 after leaving her infant and toddler in her car for about 45 minutes while she interviewed for a job in Scottsdale. The temperature inside the car exceeded 100 degrees, according to court documents. A witness found the baby crying hysterically and sweating profusely.

Taylor told investigators she didn't have anyone to watch the children.

Taylor was assigned a public defender after a judge granted her lawyers' motions to withdraw from the case in November.

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


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