Mother of Six-Year-Old School Shooter Pleads Guilty to Felony Child Neglect

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Deja Taylor, the mother of a six-year-old who shot his teacher in a Virginia classroom, has entered a guilty plea to a charge of felony child neglect. The incident took place at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, where Taylor’s son shot teacher Abigail Zwerner on January 6. As part of a plea deal, Taylor’s potential sentence was reduced from a maximum of six years to six months. Her sentencing is set for October 27.

Negotiated Plea Deal

Deja Taylor’s plea agreement included the dropping of a separate misdemeanour charge for reckless storage of a firearm. While her lawyer, James Ellenson, stated that Taylor remains remorseful, he believes that prison time will not be an appropriate sentence. Taylor initially told the police that the gun was in her purse with a trigger lock and the key hidden under her mattress. However, in her guilty plea, she acknowledged that the gun had been stored in a way that allowed easy access.

Tragic Incident and School Safety

In January, the shooting made national headlines, reigniting discussions on school safety and gun violence. The child had taken the gun from Taylor’s purse, placed on a dresser. The gun lacked a trigger lock. The teacher was struck in the hand and chest, requiring multiple surgeries and a lengthy hospital stay. She subsequently filed a $40 million lawsuit against the school district.

Unsealed Court Documents

Court documents unsealed in August provided additional insight into the incident. The six-year-old reportedly confessed, stating, “I did it,” and revealing that he had accessed his mother’s gun the previous night. Notably, the child has not been charged. In a separate case, Taylor had previously pleaded guilty to a federal charge of using marijuana while possessing a firearm, with her sentencing scheduled for October.

SOURCE: Ref Image from The Gaurdian

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