September 23, 2023


A decide may have full discretion and can in the end determine the size of Deja Taylor’s sentence. A sentencing listening to is scheduled for Oct. 27.

College students return to Richneck Elementary in Newport Information, Va., on Jan. 30, 2023. Billy Schuerman/The Virginian-Pilot by way of AP

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) — The mom of a 6-year-old boy who shot his trainer in Virginia pleaded responsible Tuesday to a cost of felony youngster neglect, seven months after her son used her handgun to critically wound the educator in a classroom full of scholars.

Prosecutors agreed to drop a misdemeanor cost of reckless storage of a firearm in opposition to Deja Taylor. As a part of the plea settlement, prosecutors mentioned they won’t search search a sentence that’s longer than state sentencing tips, which name for six months in jail or jail. A decide may have full discretion and can in the end determine the size of Taylor’s sentence. A sentencing listening to is scheduled for Oct. 27.

  • 6-year-old shoots trainer at Virginia elementary faculty, police say

Taylor was charged in April with felony youngster neglect and a misdemeanor rely of recklessly storing of a firearm.

The January capturing shocked the nation and roiled this shipbuilding metropolis close to the Chesapeake Bay. The case in opposition to Taylor is one among three authorized efforts looking for accountability, together with the trainer’s $40 million lawsuit that accuses the college system of gross negligence.

Police mentioned the primary grader deliberately shot trainer Abby Zwerner as she sat at a studying desk throughout a lesson. Zwerner, who was hit within the hand and chest, spent practically two weeks within the hospital and has endured a number of surgical procedures.

Moments after the capturing, based on search warrants filed within the case, the kid informed a studying specialist who restrained him: “I shot that (expletive) useless,” and “I bought my mother’s gun final evening.”

Police mentioned the scholar introduced the gun to highschool in his backpack, nevertheless it had been unclear precisely how the 6-year-old bought the gun.

Throughout Taylor’s plea listening to Tuesday, a prosecutor mentioned the boy informed authorities he bought the gun by climbing onto a drawer to achieve the highest of a dresser, the place the gun was saved in his mom’s purse. These particulars have been contained in a “stipulation of information,” an inventory of information that either side agree are true.

When police arrived on the faculty that day, they entered the classroom and noticed the boy being restrained by the studying specialist, based on the stipulation of information doc learn aloud by the prosecutor.

The boy used a profanity and mentioned “I shot my trainer,” earlier than breaking free and punching the studying specialist within the face, the doc states.

The gun was on the ground close by. “My mother had that. ….I stole it as a result of I wanted to shoot my trainer,” the boy mentioned, based on the doc.

The doc mentioned the boy had been recognized with a defiance dysfunction. He had beforehand taken his mom’s automotive keys from her purse, which prompted her to place her keys in a lock field. However she continued to maintain her gun in her purse, the doc states.

Taylor informed police she believed the gun was in her purse, secured with a set off lock, based on search warrants. She mentioned she stored the gunlock key below her bed room mattress. However brokers with Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives mentioned they by no means discovered a set off lock after conducting searches, based on federal courtroom paperwork. The stipulation of information additionally mentioned there was no gun secure or set off lock discovered throughout searches by authorities.

Taylor didn’t communicate in the course of the plea listening to besides to reply questions from the decide about whether or not she understood the continuing. She spoke softly and was requested by the decide to lift her voice.

In June, Taylor pleaded responsible in a separate however associated federal case to utilizing marijuana whereas possessing a firearm, which is against the law below U.S. regulation.

Taylor’s legal professional, James Ellenson, mentioned in April that there have been “mitigating circumstances,” together with her miscarriages and postpartum melancholy earlier than the capturing. Ellenson mentioned Tuesday he’ll handle melancholy and nervousness points at Taylor’s sentencing listening to.

Taylor informed ABC’s “Good Morning America” in Might that she feels accountable and apologized to Zwerner.

“That’s my son, so I’m, as a dad or mum, clearly prepared to take duty for him as a result of he can’t take duty for himself,” Taylor mentioned.

Her son has attention-deficit/hyperactivity dysfunction and was below a care plan that included a member of the family accompanying him to class every single day, Ellenson mentioned.

The week of the capturing was the primary when a dad or mum was not in school with him. The change was made as a result of the boy had began treatment and was assembly his targets academically, Taylor mentioned.

“I simply actually want to apologize,” Taylor mentioned on the present.

Ellenson mentioned in courtroom Tuesday that the boy is now within the care of his great-grandfather.

Lavoie reported from Richmond, Virginia.