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Mother of 6-year-old boy who shot teacher is sentenced to 21 months in prison

Screenshot/ABC News

Deja Taylor, the mother of a 6-year-old boy who shot his first-grade teacher, was sentenced Wednesday to 21 months in prison for smoking marijuana while owning a firearm.

Taylor is accused of lying on federal paperwork when she applied for a gun in July 2022. She checked a box on a form indicating that she was not “an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana…”

However, Taylor is a heavy marijuana smoker, according to court documents.

Taylor also faces 5 years in prison on a felony child neglect charge. Sentencing on the felony child neglect charge was delayed until December.

Taylor’s son took his mother’s handgun to school and shot Abby Zwerner in her first-grade classroom at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia in January.

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Zwerner, 26, survived her injuries. She was fired after she filed a $40 million lawsuit against the school district.
RELATED: Virginia teacher who was shot by 6-year-old boy is fired
The boy told police he climbed on a dresser and took his mother’s gun that was on top of the dresser.

After shooting Zwerner, the boy told a reading specialist who restrained him: “I shot that b-tch dead,” according to search warrants obtained by the New York Post.

Taylor initially told police she secured the gun with a trigger lock and stored it on a top shelf in a closet. However, no lock was found by police.

As part of the plea deal, prosecutors agreed to drop a misdemeanor charge of recklessly storing a firearm.

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It was the second time the gun had been fired in public. Taylor shot at her son’s father in December when she caught him with his girlfriend, according to The Post.

“u kouldve killed me,” the father wrote to Taylor in a text message, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors say Taylor smoked 2 blunts sometime after her son shot his teacher. She failed drug tests while awaiting sentencing on the federal charges.

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Taylor’s attorneys asked for probation or home confinement for Taylor. They argued that Taylor needs counseling for schizoaffective disorder and drug addiction.

“Addiction is a disease and incarceration is not the cure,” her attorneys wrote in court filings.

“Ms. Taylor is deeply saddened, extremely despondent, and completely remorseful for the unintended consequences and mistakes that led to this horrible shooting,” her attorneys wrote.

Taylor’s grandfather has had full custody of her son, now age 7, since the shooting, according to court documents.

He transferred to a school outside of the district, according to court filings.




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