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Attorney refuses to drop charges against Shanesha Taylor

PHOENIX — Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery is saying no to supporters of Shanesha Taylor, a Valley woman arrested after leaving her two children in a car while she interviewed for a job.

She claimed she was unemployed and homeless and had nowhere for the kids to go while she was at the interview. Taylor’s attorneys and supporters filed what they claim were 12,000 signatures of people asking Montgomery to drop the charges because of her circumstances.

But Montgomery said there was something wrong with the signatures.

“First, they weren’t signatures,” he said. “They were just a list of names from the change.org website. I don’t know whether any of the individuals in their pajamas who logged on to the website and put their name in there, really had a clue of all of the circumstances involved in this particular case.”

Montgomery said Taylor’s claims she was homeless and unemployed don’t appear to be true.

“We’ve learned since that she actually had part-time employment, so she wasn’t unemployed,” he said. “She actually had a residence listed, so she wasn’t homeless. Nonetheless, those children were still in jeopardy under the circumstances.”

Meanwhile, Montgomery said he is going ahead with the prosecution of another mom who is also accused of leaving her child in a hot car.

Maria Theresa Pio was arrested in Tempe on Saturday after crews found her 14-month-old baby in a car in a store parking lot.

“The temperature inside of the vehicle measured 124 degrees, while the car seat measured 113 degrees,” said Montgomery. “Both of which place a child, at 14 months, in jeopardy.”

Montgomery said video from the store’s security camera indicates that Pio was in the store for about 40 minutes.

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