A single mother who left her two young sons in a hot car in Phoenix during a job interview was sentenced today to 18 years of supervised probation. The sentencing brought an end to the case that saw Shanesha Taylor draw sympathy around the country and collect more than $114,000 in donations when her teary mug shot was published online. Her story of trying to get a job without being able to find child care resonated with the public, though the support quickly turned to scorn when she failed to meet a court deadline to place some of the money into a trust for her children as part of a plea agreement.
A judge followed prosecutors' recommendation in sentencing the 36-year-old Taylor in the March 2014 incident. Her lawyer Valeria Llewellyn had asked for 10 years of probation, saying Taylor was trying to handle her responsibilities that day without asking for help. Court Commissioner Jeffrey Rueter acknowledged Taylor's predicament, saying her actions were influenced by her economic situation. But she ultimately demonstrated "criminally poor judgment" and placed her children in danger, Rueter said. Taylor was arrested after leaving her 2-year-old and 8-month-old sons in her car for about 45 minutes. Both were rescued. Authorities said the temperature inside the car exceeded 100 degrees. (Read more child left in hot car stories.)