Home Latest News Virginia Mother Pleads Guilty in Case of Elementary School Shooting.

Virginia Mother Pleads Guilty in Case of Elementary School Shooting.

by Editorial Desk
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Deja Taylor, the mother from Virginia whose six-year-old son was involved in a shooting incident that critically injured teacher Abby Zwerner, has entered a guilty plea. Taylor pleaded guilty to a felony charge of child neglect on Tuesday, in connection with the incident that took place in January.

The shooting of 25-year-old teacher Abby Zwerner by a first-grade student shook the nation and prompted widespread discussions about the issue of firearms and children within school settings. Deja Taylor, the child’s mother, reached an agreement with prosecutors that includes a plea deal. As part of this deal, a misdemeanor charge of reckless storage of a firearm will be dropped, according to court records.

Previously, Taylor had also pleaded guilty in a separate federal case involving possession of marijuana while in possession of a handgun. In interviews, Taylor revealed that her son had been diagnosed with ADHD and that the 9mm handgun was stored in a locked manner. However, investigators reported a lack of evidence suggesting proper firearm storage. In May, Taylor issued an apology to Abby Zwerner, who is pursuing a $40 million lawsuit against the Newport News school district. Notably, due to the child’s age, he cannot be prosecuted under Virginia law.

Taylor spoke about her responsibility for her son, saying, “That is my son, so I am, as a parent, obviously willing to take responsibility for him because he can’t take responsibility for himself.” This statement was made during an appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America.

Taylor’s legal team previously indicated that she was grappling with the aftermath of miscarriages and postpartum depression. Zwerner’s lawsuit alleges that the leadership at Richneck Elementary School had created an unsafe work environment and disregarded multiple warnings about the child possessing a firearm on school premises. Taylor acknowledged in interviews that her son had been required to be accompanied by a family member to classes up until a week prior to the shooting. The incident occurred shortly after his return from suspension for damaging Zwerner’s cellphone.

According to court documents, the child admitted to a teaching aide that he had shot his teacher. The police search warrant stated that, “While restraining him, (the child) made statements like, ‘I shot that (expletive) dead.’ And ‘I did it. I got my mom’s gun last night.'”

Prosecutors declined to comment on the guilty plea due to the ongoing case. Taylor is scheduled to be sentenced on October 27 after a pre-sentence investigation that will delve into her background, family life, any previous criminal history, and potential mitigating factors.

Newport News Commonwealth’s Attorney Howard Gwynn remarked, “We are thinking of Ms. Zwerner and all the students and faculty who experienced these events as our office continues its investigation. The safety of our schools is of paramount importance, and we will continue to support the victims as they work through the effects of this incident.”

Requests for comments from attorneys representing Zwerner, Taylor, and the school district remained unanswered at the time of reporting.

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