PHOENIX (AP) — A Phoenix woman arrested after leaving her two kids in a hot vehicle during a job interview is fighting to clear her name in court, with the support of a New Jersey woman who has raised more than $91,000 to help her effort.
Unemployed and on food stamps, Shanesha Taylor went to the job interview last month at a Scottsdale insurance company.
The 35-year-old wasn't able to find a sitter, so she left her 2-year-old son and 6-month old baby in her Dodge Durango with the key still in the ignition and the windows rolled down an inch.
A witness found the infant crying hysterically and sweating profusely as temperatures inside the SUV exceeded 100 degrees.
Taylor was arrested after returning to the vehicle, and her tearful mugshot later caught the attention of 24-year-old Amanda Bishop of New Jersey.
Bishop said she was inspired to set up a fundraising web page for Taylor because she could relate to growing up in a family that doesn't have a lot of money.
"I had a mother and family in general who struggled raising us and had to rely on other resources to provide for us and sometimes made not the greatest choices," Bishop said.
Taylor pleaded not guilty Monday at her arraignment.
Prosecutors point out that her actions put the safety of her children in danger.
According to court documents, Scottsdale firefighters found the vehicle's windows rolled down only an inch and no running air conditioning to keep the children cool.
The baby was described as wearing a short-sleeve shirt over a long-sleeve shirt, as well as a blanket. Taylor arrived back at the vehicle more than an hour after her interview time, the documents said.