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Mom of 6-year-old who shot his teacher will plead guilty to new charges: Lawyer


(NEW YORK) — The mother of the 6-year-old who police say shot his first-grade teacher in January in Virginia plans to plead guilty to new charges related to when she bought the gun her son is believed to have used.

Deja Taylor was accused on Monday of unlawful use of marijuana in possession of a handgun and making a false statement about her drug use during the purchase of the firearm, both of which are felonies, federal prosecutors said.

Taylor’s attorney, James Ellenson, told ABC News later Monday that she will enter a guilty plea within days.

“We intend to present mitigating evidence that we trust the Court will view favorably at sentencing later this year following preparation of a pre-sentence report,” Ellenson said in a statement.

He added that the shooting at Richneck Elementary School, in Newport News, “was a tragedy for all parties, most especially teacher Abby Zwerner for whom we wish a complete recovery.”

Zwerner, 25, sustained a gunshot wound through her hand and into her chest on Jan. 6 when the student brought a gun into her classroom at Richneck and intentionally shot and wounded her, police have said.

Her lawyer has said a bullet is still in her body. Prosecutors said they wouldn’t charge the boy, citing concerns of his competency given his age.

Taylor also faces a state criminal case after being indicted in April for felony child neglect and a misdemeanor charge of endangering a child by reckless storage of a firearm. She has not pleaded to those counts.

Taylor, who had no previous criminal record, was released on a $5,000 surety bond on her state charges.

After Taylor’s last court appearance, Ellenson told reporters that she suffered from postpartum depression after a succession of miscarriages, including an ectopic pregnancy.

Those incidents had “been a large factor in a number of the events that led up to the unfortunate event” when the teacher was shot, Ellenson said.

The 6-year-old’s family previously said in a statement that he “suffers from an acute disability and was under a care plan at the school that included his mother or father attending school with him and accompanying him to class every day.”

“The week of the shooting was the first week when we were not in class with him,” they said.

Zwerner has filed a $40 million lawsuit against her school district, accusing them of negligence. The school board’s lawyers have sought to dismiss her claim, arguing her injuries are covered under the state’s worker’s compensation law.

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