Tearful ‘hot car mom’ expected to plead guilty

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PHOENIX — Shanesha Taylor’s teary mug shot got worldwide attention. It was taken after she was arrested for leaving her kids in a 100-degree car while she went on a job interview.

Taylor is expected to plead guilty Monday.

She was arrested last March and was charged with two counts of child abuse.

Her attorney said Taylor is “going to take responsibility for her actions.”

Last summer, a deal was hammered out with Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery aimed at helping Taylor become a better parent.

Montgomery says his office did anything but drop the charges against Taylor.

“We have not dropped the charges at all,” Montgomery said.

In a prepared statement that took less than a minute to read, Taylor talked about her second chance.

“This is beautiful resolution to a very long, very hard journey,” Taylor said in her first time speaking publicly.

Taylor nearly avoided the two felony counts of child abuse through something called “deferred prosecution.” She was arrested last March after leaving two of her three children strapped in car seats and sitting in a 100-degree car. Taylor said she had a job interview that day and couldn’t find childcare.

Under the “deferred deal” Taylor was required to attend between 26 and 52 weeks of parenting classes. She was also supposed to secure her three children’s futures by setting up an education trust account and a childcare trust.

“If she ever had a circumstance in which she needed childcare and no friends or relatives could assist, she would have money there,” Montgomery explained.

Once those requirements are successfully completed, “…we’ll dismiss the case,” Montgomery said. “If you don’t complete everything, if you don’t abide by the terms and conditions of that agreement, then the prosecution picks back up.”

The state has custody of Taylor’s children. The deal would have allowed her to avoid prison and reunite with her children.

This story sparked a lot of attention nationwide and even encouraged thousands of people to give to an online fundraiser to help “Shanesha Taylor.” That raised more than $114,000. As part of her deferred prosecution deal, Taylor was to put funds into that education trust account for her kids, but Taylor didn’t hold up her side of the deal and now faces the felony child abuse charges.