A mother is headed to prison for nearly two years for cannabis use while owning a handgun. Deja Taylor received a 21-month sentence on Wednesday (Nov. 15), per AP News.
In January, Taylor’s six-year-old son used his mother’s weapon to fire at his school teacher inside a Virginia classroom. Abby Zwerner survived her gunshot wounds to the chest and hand and has gone on to share her trauma in interviews.
After investigating the incident, local police found an ounce of marijuana in Deja Taylor’s bedroom and other related paraphernalia. Text messages also reportedly evidenced “frequent drug use,” per AP.
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This sentence isn’t the end of the incident for Taylor. In fact, she’s due in court again next month for a separate sentence. That legal proceeding will focus on a felony child neglect charge from the state. Deja Taylor pled guilty to that in August. At the time, her attorney, James Ellenson, said the mother felt “very bad” over the teacher’s shooting.
“She feels very responsible, feels very bad, It’s just very emotional, the whole hearing. It’s all just upsetting to everybody,” the lawyer said.
Updates: Son Will Not Face Charges, Teacher Seeking Millions From School Officials
Authorities decided in March that her son would not face charges. Attorney General Howard Gwynn told WTKR at the time that the law did not support “charging and convicting a six-year-old with aggravated assault.” It’s unclear if the child returned to Richneck Elementary School student following the shooting.
The incident has dominated headlines for months — highlighting safety in schools. In April, Abby, the Virginia teacher, announced a $40 million lawsuit against school officials.
To recover from the shooting, Abby reportedly spent two weeks hospitalized and underwent four surgeries. Her lawsuit states she suffered permanent bodily injuries, physical pain, mental anguish, and lost earnings following the incident. It also says she gave school administrators “multiple warnings” about the boy having a gun.
“All Defendants knew that John Doe attacked students and teachers alike, and his motivation to injure was directed toward anyone in his path, both in and out of school, and was not limited to teachers while at the school,” the lawsuit states.
At this time, Deja Taylor is not named in Abby’s lawsuit. However, the former teacher reportedly testified in the mother’s sentencing hearing this week.
HAPPENING NOW: Deja Taylor & Abby Zwerner are currently in federal court, to determine how many years Deja Taylor will face in jail, (the mother of the 6-year-old who used her gun to shoot Zwerner at Richneck elementary school back in January) Neither had any comment. @WAVY_News https://t.co/dyINgsuaZn pic.twitter.com/ya441AOSdd
— Cortez Grayson (@_cjg1124) November 15, 2023
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