- by cnn
- 01 Oct 2023
The mother of a 6-year-old boy who brought a gun to school and shot his first-grade teacher in January in Newport News, Virginia, will plead guilty to new federal felony charges as part of a deal with prosecutors, her attorney said Monday.
Deja Taylor, the 26-year-old mother, was charged with unlawful use of a controlled substance while possessing a firearm and with making a false statement while purchasing the firearm, specifically a semiautomatic handgun, the federal complaint states.
Her attorney, James Ellenson, said Taylor's guilty plea was an "agreed procedure which eliminated the need for the government to take the case to a grand jury."
"Our action follows very constructive negotiations we had with federal authorities. The terms of the agreement, which we believe to be fair to all parties, will be disclosed when we enter the guilty plea," Ellenson said.
In addition to the federal charges, Taylor has been indicted on state charges of felony child neglect and one count of recklessly leaving a firearm to endanger a child.
The federal charges come about five months after the shooting at Richneck Elementary School in which the 6-year-old shot his teacher, 25-year-old Abigail Zwerner. She suffered gunshot wounds to her hand and chest but survived.
The gun was purchased by Taylor and kept on the top shelf of her bedroom closet, secured by a trigger lock, Ellenson told CNN in January. The child brought the gun to school in his backpack, police said.
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