Shanesha Taylor, an Arizona woman who left her kids in a hot car while she went to a job interview, was sentenced Friday to 18 years supervised probation, the Arizona Republic is reporting.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Shanesha Taylor’s legal troubles began in March, 2014, when a concerned passerby called police after hearing the sounds of children crying coming from a car parked in a parking lot at a Scottsdale State Farm Insurance office. Police arrived to find two children, aged 6 months and 2 years, sitting securely in their car seats in the car. They were unharmed but were visibly in distress.
Taylor’s story gained attention in the media after her tearful mugshot photo went viral. The then-homeless woman claimed that she was trying desperately to get back on her feet from homelessness and has tried to find gainful employment. She tearfully insisted that she left her children in the car because she had no other choice since she couldn’t find affordable child care.
An online fundraising campaign raised over $110,000 donations for the Taylor’s defense and to help her get back on her feet. Donors sympathized with the mom, who was faced with the horrifying choice of either missing a job opportunity or leaving her children in a car for a short period of time.
Shanesha Taylor’s life since her mugshot went viral hasn’t always been on the straight and narrow, prosecutors argued. USA Today notes that Taylor may have lied when she claimed she was homeless and living in a car, when in fact she may have been living with family. Despite being so desperate for employment, she appears to have turned down several job offers. Despite claiming that media attention kept her from getting jobs, the prosecutor argued that Taylor continued to hold press conferences.
Most damning to Shanesha’s case is the fate of the tens of thousands of dollars raised in her name. Taylor has missed two deadlines to put the money into college funds for her children, and at one point she was withdrawing as much as $4,000 per month from the fund for “living expenses.”
On Friday, Superior Court Commissioner Jeffrey Rueter determined that Taylor’s decision to leave her kids in her car constituted “criminally poor judgment.” Her sentence will spare her jail time if she stays out of trouble, and also allows her to travel out of state if she gets permission.
Shanesha Taylor says she intends to move to Chicago, where she’ll be able to get support from family members.
[Image courtesy of You Caring]