A homeless mother who was arrested after leaving her children in a vehicle during a job interview is fighting to get her name cleared in court with the help of the public.
Shanesha Taylor of Phoenix went to a job interview last month at a Scottsdale insurance company. The mother of two, who was unemployed and on food stamps, couldn’t find a sitter, so she left her 2-year-old son and 6-month-old baby in her Dodge Durango with the key still in the ignition and the windows rolled down an inch.
A witness found the infant crying inside the hot SUV and Taylor was arrested upon returning to the vehicle.
But her story caught the attention of many, including 24-year-old Amanda Bishop of New Jersey.
Bishop said she was inspired to set up a fundraising web page for Taylor because she could relate to growing up in a family that doesn’t have a lot of money.
“I had a mother and family in general who struggled raising us and had to rely on other resources to provide for us and sometimes made not the greatest choices,” Bishop said.
So far, Bishop has raised $91,000 to help the single mother in an effort to clear her name. On Monday, Taylor pleaded not guilty at her arraignment.
But prosecutors aren’t so convinced that Taylor is innocent, pointing out that her actions put the safety of her children in danger.
“Everything is focused on the mother and understandably so. It seems to be a very compelling human interest story,” County Attorney Bill Montgomery said at a recent news conference. “But I’m equally concerned and compelled about the circumstances those two children were in.”
Montgomery said it’s too soon to determine if Taylor will receive a prison term or face losing custody of her children. Her offenses could amount to a sentence ranging from probation to seven years in prison, prosecutors said.
Bishop and hundreds of others who donated believe Taylor did make an ill-informed decision, but didn’t have much of a choice.
“She could have been at a bar or at a club and leaving her children in the car,” Bishop said. “Here’s a woman who is an example of someone who is trying — who is trying to better her situation and doing what she can to provide for her children.”
We’ll keep you updated with the latest in Taylor’s case.
SOURCE: Huffington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Police Department
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