Posted Apr 17, 2014 02:04 pm CDT
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery is unswayed by an online petition supporting Shanesha Taylor, an Arizona woman who was arrested when she left her toddler and baby in the car during a 45-minute job interview.
Montgomery said he won’t drop felony child-abuse charges against Taylor, despite supporters who say she needs help rather than punishment, the Arizona Republic reports.
Montgomery said the 12,000 names on an online petition at Change.org weren’t actual signatures; few were people who lived in Maricopa County or even Arizona; and that the signers probably weren’t fully aware of the circumstances.
“I don’t know whether any of the individuals in their pajamas who logged on to the site and put their name on there really had a clue of all the circumstances involved in this particular case,” Montgomery said on Wednesday.
“The ‘quote-unquote’ letter addressed to me didn’t mention any of the circumstances that presented those children with jeopardy.”
Taylor was arrested in Scottsdale on March 21 after leaving her two sons, ages 6-months and 2, in her Dodge Durango during her interview at a Farmer’s Insurance office. She told police she had no job and no child care for the day, and she was sometimes homeless. A witness said the baby was crying hysterically and sweating, the Associated Press reported last week.
Court documents said the car windows were only rolled down an inch. According to AP, temperatures in the SUV were higher than 100 degrees. The children were examined at a hospital and released. They are staying with other family members under the supervision of child-welfare officials.
An online fundraising campaign has raised more than $100,000 on Taylor’s behalf. The New Jersey woman who launched the campaign said she wanted to help after seeing pictures of the children and posts about them on Taylor’s Facebook page, Today Moms reports. “That convinced me she wasn’t a bad mom, she just made a terrible mistake,” Amanda Bishop told MSNBC.