Mother of 6-year-old who shot Virginia teacher charged

Nabil Anas
Nabil Anas

Global Courant

The mother of a 6-year-old who brought a gun to his school in Virginia this year and shot his teacher was charged with federal gun crimes Monday.

Deja Taylor, 25, was charged with two counts in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Virginia: unlawful user of a controlled substance in possession of a firearm and making a false statement during the purchase of a firearm.

She was indicted earlier in April by a Newport News grand jury on charges of child neglect and a misdemeanor charge of recklessly leaving a loaded firearm to endanger a child, Newport News Commonwealth attorney Howard Gwynn said.

- Advertisement -

Taylor has apologized to the teacher and said she was responsible for her son’s access to the gun, though she claims she’s not exactly sure how he obtained it. A trial is scheduled for August 15.

Taylor’s attorney, James Ellenson, said Monday that Taylor would plead guilty to the federal charges in an agreement with prosecutors.

Terms of the deal are likely to be announced within the next two weeks, when Taylor makes a plea, he said.

The federal indictment documents allege that Taylor lied about using marijuana when she signed a required federal document last year when she bought a Taurus 9mm handgun.

“In fact, as she knew at the time, she was an unlawful user of marijuana,” the filing says.

- Advertisement -

Marijuana isn’t legal under federal guidelines, but Virginia allows it for medical patients and non-medical users age 21 and older.

Prosecutors have said the boy will not be charged.

Virginia elementary school teacher Abigail Zwerner on March 20. Carlos Bernate for NBC News

- Advertisement -

Abigail Zwerner was gunned down on January 6 at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News by a student in her first grade class. She safely led her class of about 20 students to safety even after suffering serious injuries to her left hand and chest.

She has said school officials were aware of at least three separate warnings before the shooting that the 6-year-old boy was believed to have a gun and exhibited an alleged pattern of disturbing behavior.

Zwerner was seriously injured. She filed a $40 million lawsuit alleging school administrators ignored multiple warnings that the boy had a gun and posed an imminent threat.

A student returns to Richneck Elementary in Newport News, Virginia on January 30, 2023.Billy Schuerman/Daily Press/Newport News/TNS via Getty Images file

Newport News Public Schools has asked for the lawsuit to be dismissed, saying the teacher’s claims are better treated as a matter of compensation for an employee, similar to common workplace accidents.

Ellenson, Taylor’s lawyer, said the shooting was “a tragedy for all parties, especially teacher Abby Zwerner for whom we wish a full recovery”.

Lindsey Pipia contributed.

Mother of 6-year-old who shot Virginia teacher charged

America Region News ,Next Big Thing in Public Knowledg

Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *