Shanesha Taylor, the homeless Arizona mother who made headlines for leaving her two toddlers in a hot car, is once again facing felony child abuse charges after failing to meet court-ordered requirements.
Maricopa County Prosecutors reinstated the charges after Taylor failed to deposit $60,000 into a trust fund for her children from money raised online. The Chicago Defender reports that Taylor offered the court $35,000 instead, but it was rejected.
You may remember Taylor as the mother who left her two-year-old and six-month old in a car with the windows cracked while she went to a job interview in March. A passerby called the police when they heard the children crying. Taylor was arrested and charged with felony child abuse. On the day of the incident, it was 82 degrees outside. Police reported that it was at least 103 degrees inside the vehicle when the children were rescued.
Taylor claimed she was homeless at the time and looking for a job, and couldn't afford childcare. Her circumstances and arrest gained her lots of media attention that resulted in an outpouring of support for the single mom. A 24-year-old New Jersey woman even started an online fund to help Taylor post bail that reached almost $115,000, according to the Huffington Post.
In order to avoid prosecution, Taylor was ordered by the courts to make a mandatory deposit of $60,000 of the donated money into a trust fund for her children's college tuition and use the rest for childcare. Taylor agreed to this condition in July and custody of her children was returned to her, but as of Monday, she has yet to deposit the $60,000.
Taylor's attorney says that she still has not found a job, but according to Amanda Bishop, who started the fund to help the single mom, Taylor received numerous job offers from people who donated.
"My client still wants to fund the trust fund, it's just a matter of being able to still survive--and still live off these trust funds--and still get a job in the future," said her attorney, Benjamin Taylor. He asked the judge to lower the contribution to $35,000. He further argued that Taylor has met most of the requirements for her diversion program and has paid for childcare through April of next year, according to the Huffington Post.
In court last week, prosecutors questioned where all of the donated money went and the judge sought proof of any large purchases. News One reports that Taylor initially told a judge that the money for the trust fund was in her mother's account, then switched her story to say that she could provide proof that she only had $35,000.
A trial date has been set for December 10. Taylor faces up to 18 months in jail if convicted.