An Arizona prosecutor has announced plans to pursue charges against Shanesha Taylor, the homeless woman who left her two children in a car during a job interview in Scottsdale, Ariz., according to AZCentral.
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said Wednesday he will move forward with a felony child-abuse prosecution against the 35-year-old mother, the site reports about the case, which has garnered widespread attention.
Taylor was arrested March 21 on child-abuse charges after leaving her 6-month-old and 2-year-old alone in her Dodge Durango for 45 minutes while interviewing at a Farmers Insurance office in Scottsdale, the site says. Taylor told police she was unemployed, without child care that day and had occasionally been homeless, the report says.
Taylor, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges, faces up to eight years in prison if convicted, Salon reports. Her lawyer, Benjamin Taylor, said Tuesday at a news conference that he had scheduled an appointment with Montgomery to discuss dropping the charges. And on Tuesday, a Change.org petition with 12,000 names calling for Montgomery to drop the charges was delivered to his Phoenix office.
"First, they weren't signatures; they were just a list of names," Montgomery told AZCentral, referring to a printout from the website. "So I don't know whether any of the individuals in their pajamas who logged on to the site and put their name on there really had a clue of all the circumstances involved in this particular case.
Since Taylor's arrest, a fundraising page at YouCaring.com has raised more than $110,000 from nearly 4,000 donors.
"Thank you to all who love and support me," she wrote March 31 in a post at YouCaring. "I am home and safe. I was released early this morning by the grace of god. And the charity of a wonderful church community here in Chandler, AZ. I appreciate everyone who felt move enough to help a complete stranger. I LOVE you all. As to the comments that this fund is fraudelent, please understand there are a lot of people looking to profit from my misfortune. This fund is absolutely real and my first disbursement is pending in my account. Again thank you all for you support. My family and I greatly appreciate it."
Read more at AZCentral.