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Maricopa County to suspend prosecution of Shanesha Taylor

PHOENIX — Prosecution may be suspended for a Phoenix-area woman accused of leaving a child in a hot car, provided she attends parenting and substance abuse programs, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office said Friday.

Shanesha Taylor was arrested March 20 after leaving her children in a car while attending a job interview. She was charged with two counts of child abuse and domestic violence.

County Attorney Bill Montgomery said his office felt the abuse programs, along with Taylor establishing both trust and educational funds for her children, was adequate penance.

“Based on all the facts and circumstances in this matter, we believe this agreement represents a just resolution that appropriately holds the defendant accountable for her actions while also recognizing the best interests of her family,” said County Attorney Bill Montgomery in a release. “The stipulations of this agreement also ensure that pledges of support from members of the public will have a meaningful and positive impact,” he added.

If Taylor, 35, fails to adhere to the stipulations, Montgomery said she will be prosecuted.

“This is a beautiful resolution to a very long, very hard journey,” Taylor said. “I’d like to thank Mr. Montgomery and his office for his assistance in reaching a positive outcome today.”

The children, a 2-year-old and a 6-month-old at the time of the incident, are being cared for by child welfare. Taylor is permitted visits. A custody hearing has been scheduled for next week.

KTAR’s Bob McClay contributed to this article.