Shanesha Taylor failure won’t prevent county attorney from offering similar deals

Nov 19, 2014, 3:00 PM | Updated: 3:01 pm
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PHOENIX — Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said he will not hesitate to work with child-abuse suspects on plea bargains, despite the failures of Shanesha Taylor to keep up her end of the deal.

Taylor received over $114,000 in online donations after she was arrested for leaving her kids in a hot car during a job interview went viral but she is using that money for things other than her children or her defense. Court records show that she is spending about $4,000 a month, including hundreds of dollars for clothes and entertainment.

Taylor agreed to a plea deal in order to avoid prosecution. She was required to put $60,000 into a trust fund for her kids but she missed several deadlines to do so. She refused Montgomery’s offer to have the amount set at $40,000, and is scheduled to go to trial on Dec. 10.

Montgomery said the way that Taylor has handled her defense is no sweat off of his back.

“My feelings haven’t been hurt,” he said. “The failure in this case to reach a resolution has nothing to do with this office or the prosecutors who were involved. It was a decision, or a lack thereof, by the defendant. That happens every single day. Gosh, if that bothered me, I think I’d be in therapy 24/7.”

Montgomery said Taylor’s actions will in no way affect any future cases. He would still be open to a plea agreement in any similar cases that may come in the future.

He had been aware she was spending money on other things, rather than depositing it into a trust for her kids, for some time.

“We’d actually filed a motion as part of a revue of her bond that included that budget,” Montgomery said. “That was probably filed about two weeks ago.”

Montgomery said there will be no more deals for Taylor.

“We’re moving forward with the prosecution at this point,” he said. “Her budget is immaterial to any ongoing effort to resolve the case short of trial. The previous effort to take advantage of the unique circumstances and give her an opportunity to avoid prosecution is obviously over and done with.”

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Shanesha Taylor failure won’t prevent county attorney from offering similar deals