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Rev. Jarrett Maupin: Shanesha Taylor ‘squandered’ opportunities

LISTEN: Shanesha Taylor's Struggles

PHOENIX — Shanesha Taylor’s story has taken yet another dramatic turn, as one of her biggest supporters throughout her case spoke out against her on Thursday.

Taylor was arrested in March for leaving her two young sons, who were then 2 years old and 6 months old, in her car in August while she went to a 45-minute job interview.

She had told police she had no job or child care and had struggled with homelessness.

Taylor was then granted what many saw as a generous deal by the office of Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. If she set aside $40,000-$60,000 in donations for a trust fund for her children, and met other conditions, the charges of child abuse would be dropped.

Originally, the amount was set at $60,0000 but the prosecutor’s office offered to reduce the amount to $40,000.

After sympathizing with her story, Taylor’s supporters set up a fundraising web site and raised over $114,775.

But Taylor missed the deadline to follow through with that deal, and now must appear in court on Dec. 10 to face felony abuse charges.

The Rev. Jarrett Maupin, who has helped Taylor by playing a part in her original deal as well arranging job interviews for her, said Thursday he is tried of Taylor wasting her chances for redemption.

“I got a lot of calls and made a lot of calls to people that are at the helm of hotels and restaurant chains and other businesses locally here in the Valley …so she could find full-time employment,” he said. “Only to have her not show up for the interviews.”

Maupin said her other supporters as well as her attorney also received job offers for Taylor, but she did not follow through with them because she said it wasn’t the work she wanted to do. However, he said most of the offers were in her preferred field of hospitality and offered high wages.

“This is someone that was looking for anything right, at least according to the statement she made to the media and to the public and to the people supporting her, but there were umpteen opportunities for her to become fully employed,” Maupin said.

Taylor’s attorney, Benjamin Taylor, no relation, asked to terminate his representation earlier this month and a second attorney, John Agra, left the case after he said Shanesha Taylor failed to pay him. Taylor has since been appointed a public defender after being declared “indigent” or unable to pay legal fees.

Maupin said this only proves Taylor has spent all of the money raised by her supporters on the Internet.

“You can’t have, what she claims to have, $72,000 left of the money, and be declared indigent,” he said. “That is just impossible…that money is gone.”

Maupin said although he was reluctant, he has now joined the chorus of voices criticizing Taylor’s judgement in the face of felony child abuse charges, even while Taylor asks for more donations on social media.

“I think the public’s charity spicket has been closed tight and for good reason,” he said. “People are sometimes cynical about our country, but truly the nation opened up its heart to Shanesha in a way I’ve never seen them do before for people in similar circumstances and she squandered that goodwill.”

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