- Associated Press - Thursday, May 22, 2014

PHOENIX (AP) - A court commissioner decided Thursday that a Phoenix mother can have supervised visits with the young sons that she told police were left in a hot car when she couldn’t find a baby sitter during a job interview.

Shanesha Taylor, 35, can have contact with her 2-year-old and 8-month-old sons if a Child Protective Services worker is present, Maricopa County Superior Court Commissioner Richard Nothwehr said.

Defense attorney Benjamin Taylor called the decision a victory.

“She loves her kids dearly,” said Taylor, who is not related to the defendant.

Shanesha Taylor did not speak to media but was smiling outside the courtroom after the hearing.

Taylor was arrested March 20 after bystanders reported seeing her children alone in her car in Scottsdale. Authorities say the temperature inside the car was over 100 degrees.

Taylor told investigators that she didn’t have anyone to watch her children.

She has drawn sympathy from people who see her as a single mother trying to get work. An online fundraising website set up by a New Jersey woman brought in donations for her.

Taylor has used some of the money to secure a new place to live, her lawyer said.

Despite the support, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery has said his focus remains on how the children were treated.

Taylor’s trial on two felony child abuse charges was set for Sept. 4. She has pleaded not guilty.

Benjamin Taylor said the children have been living at a safe location but would not disclose who was caring for them.

“We hope to eventually reunite them permanently,” he said about the children and his client.


Follow Terry Tang on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ttangAP

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