Mother of 6-year-old who shot first-grade teacher pleads guilty to state charge of felony child neglect
(CNN) — Deja Taylor, the mother of the 6-year-old who shot his first-grade teacher in January, pleaded guilty to a charge of felony child neglect Tuesday.
The charge has a maximum statutory sentence of five years in prison. However, per a plea agreement, prosecutors have said they will not seek a punishment beyond the sentencing guidelines of six months.
Judge Chris Papile said he reserves the right to sentence outside that recommendation.
Taylor’s 6-year-old son shot his teacher, Abigail Zwerner, on January 6 at Richneck Elementary School leaving her with gunshots wounds to her hand and chest.
As part of a plea deal, Taylor has also pleaded guilty to federal gun charges. Sentencing on those charges will take place in October.
Taylor’s sentencing on the state charge is scheduled for October 27.
Taylor purchased the gun and stored in the top shelf of her bedroom closet, secured by a trigger lock, her attorney James Ellenson told CNN in January. Police said her son brought the gun to school in his backpack.
The 6-year-old will not be criminally charged, Newport News Commonwealth’s Attorney Howard Gwynn has said.
Taylor has no criminal record and has cooperated with authorities since the shooting, Ellenson said in an earlier statement. Taylor turned herself in to police in April after the filing of state charges and was released after posting $5,000 bond.