Mother of Boy Who Shot Teacher Turns Herself In

Other counts are possible in the case, Virginia prosecutor says
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2023 6:15 PM CDT
Updated Apr 14, 2023 12:03 AM CDT
Mother of 6-Year-Old Who Shot Teacher Faces Criminal Charges
Messages of support for teacher Abby Zwerner, who was shot by a 6-year-old student, grace the front door of Richneck Elementary School Newport News, Va. on Jan. 9.   (AP Photo/John C. Clark, File)
UPDATE Apr 14, 2023 12:03 AM CDT

The mother of the 6-year-old boy who shot his first-grade teacher has been arrested, police announced Thursday. She turned herself in and was released after posting a $5,000 bond, NBC News reports. The charges she faces are punishable by up to six years behind bars. "She is nervous and scared because she has never been charged before, but holding up well," her lawyer says. Meanwhile, the city prosecutor's office also said this week that it is looking into whether criminal charges might be warranted regarding the "actions or omissions" of anyone working at the school where the shooting took place.

Apr 10, 2023 6:15 PM CDT

Virginia law makes it nearly impossible to charge the 6-year-old who shot a teacher at his Newport News school in January. But there's nothing to prevent the indictment of his mother, who owned the gun the boy used. Deja Taylor, 25, was charged Monday with one felony count of child neglect and one misdemeanor count of recklessly leaving a firearm so as to endanger a child, the Washington Post reports. Howard Gwynn, the Newport News commonwealth's attorney, said his office has asked a judge to have a special grand jury further investigate the case, per NBC News. "Every criminal case is unique in its facts, and these facts support these charges," Gwynn said, "but our investigation into the shooting continues."

The grand jury will be asked to decide whether other charges are warranted, Gwynn said, while considering "security issues" that might have led to the critical wounding of Abigail Zwerner. Her lawyer, Diane Toscano, said in a statement Monday that "there were failures in accountability at multiple levels that led to Abby being shot and almost killed." The new charges address only one of them, Diane Toscano said, per ABC News. Zwerner has sued school officials for $40 million, accusing them of negligence. A lawyer for Taylor did not immediately comment to NBC. (More school shooting stories.)

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