The mother of a six-year-old who shot his teacher in a Virginia school has admitted guilt to a felony child negligence allegation.
Deja Taylor, 26, pled guilty as part of an agreement with the prosecution to reduce her sentence from up to six years to only six months.
On January 6, her son shot Abigail Zwerner, a teacher at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News.
The sentence for Taylor is set for October 27.
A separate misdemeanor charge of recklessly storing a firearm was withdrawn as part of Taylor’s plea agreement.
The tweet below confirms the news:
Mother of six-year-old who shot Virginia school teacher pleads guilty https://t.co/TqhARa9vvI
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) August 15, 2023
Taylor’s attorney, James Ellenson, claimed that his client is still sorry, even though he thinks a sentence of no jail time is right.
After the hearing, Mr. Ellenson told reporters, “She feels very bad and responsible.”
Taylor had earlier informed the police that she thought the gun was in her purse and was locked with a trigger lock and that the key to the gunlock was hidden under her bed.
However, she allegedly acknowledged that the pistol was kept in a way that made it accessible when she entered a guilty plea.
According to the Washington Post, an assistant Newport News Commonwealth’s Attorney testified in court on Tuesday that the six-year-old retrieved the revolver from his mother’s pocketbook, perched on a dresser. The prosecutor claimed that the trigger lock on the gun was missing.
The shooting, which made global news in January, brought school safety and gun violence issues back into the public eye.
Ms. Zwerner suffered injuries to her hand and chest, necessitating three surgeries and a week-long hospital stay. Earlier this year, she sued the school system for $40 million (£31.4 million).
The sad encounter was further described in newly disclosed court documents released in August.
Shortly after the incident, the six-year-old reportedly declared, “I did it,” adding, “I got my mom’s gun last night.” The boy is not facing any charges.
Taylor had entered a plea of guilty in June to a federal allegation of having marijuana and a gun in his possession. In that case, the sentencing is also slated for October.
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