Richneck Elementary School (Billy Schuerman-The Virginian-Pilot-AP)
*The Virginia woman whose 6-year-old son shot his first-grade teacher three months ago has been indicted by a grand jury and is expected to surrender to authorities by the end of the week.
Deja Nicole Taylor, 25, faces felony charges of child neglect and a misdemeanor count of recklessly leaving a firearm so as to endanger a child, Inside Edition reports. If convicted on all charges, she faces up to 7 years in prison.
The charges follow “a thorough investigation by Newport News Police Department and this office,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Howard Gwynn said in a statement Monday.
“Every criminal case is unique in its facts, and these facts support these charges, but our investigation into the shooting continues,” Gwynn said.
Update: Virginia mother, Deja Nicole Taylor, 25, has finally been charged with felony child neglect and a misdemeanor count of recklessly leaving a firearm so as to endanger a child. It was her 6 year old that shot his elementary school teacher in the chest. Can anyone find Deja… https://t.co/V4WrcFE5Wh pic.twitter.com/De7SwUBKhv
— Southern Man (@MagicBelle1) April 11, 2023
We reported previously that the teacher, Abigail Zwerner, 25, was shot in front of her first-grade students at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News. The boy, who allegedly suffers from a mental disorder, pulled out a gun and shot her in the chest on Jan. 6. The teacher has filed a $40 million lawsuit against the school district, Zwerner’s attorney Dianne Toscano announced in a press conference.
According to Toscano, prior to the shooting, at least three school employees were informed that the boy had a gun but the warning was allegedly ignored.
In a statement to BuzzFeed, the boy’s mother said he requires a “care plan” that calls for one of his parents to sit with him in class. According to the mother, the child has “an acute” behavioral disorder. Police say the boy took his mother’s gun from home with him to school that fateful day. This happened to be the first week that neither parent was with him in class, his mother said.
Last month, Gwynn announced he would file no criminal charges against the child due to his age.
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