Virginia Mother’s Sentence for Child Neglect in School Shooting Case

Virginia Mother’s Sentence for Child Neglect in School Shooting Case

Sentencing and Restriction

Deja Nicole Taylor, a 25-year-old Virginia mother, received a significant sentence and a ban on contacting her child until the age of 18, imposed by a judge following her son’s shooting of his first-grade teacher.

Taylor faced additional two years in prison on charges of felony child neglect, adding to the 21-month term she’s already set to serve for gun-related charges.

Legal Proceedings and Previous Charges

The Newport News Circuit judge sentenced Taylor to a total of five years, with three years suspended. Earlier, she pleaded guilty to using marijuana while owning a gun, resulting in a federal prison sentence of 21 months. A plea deal included the dropping of a misdemeanor count related to firearm storage negligence.

Incident Details and Aftermath

Taylor’s son, in a tragic event, shot his first-grade teacher, Abigail Zwerner, causing critical injuries that required hospitalization for two weeks. The child, now under the care of his great-grandfather, has changed schools.

Incident Narrative and Legal Disputes

Reports indicated that Taylor’s son accessed her 9mm handgun from her purse, which was supposedly secured with a trigger lock she claimed to have used. However, authorities found no such lock during searches of her home.

The child had informed others about the firearm’s presence in his backpack on the day of the shooting, but school administrators failed to effectively intervene.

Lawsuit and Alleged Negligence

In response to the incident, Zwerner filed a lawsuit against Newport News Public Schools, alleging gross negligence by school administrators.

The lawsuit highlighted disturbing past behaviors of Taylor’s son, including instances of violence and inappropriate behavior at school, which were reportedly not adequately addressed.

Legal Battle and Compensation Disputes

While Zwerner seeks $40 million in damages, the school board seeks to block the lawsuit, contending that the injuries fall under workers’ compensation, limiting compensation to 10 years’ pay and restricted medical benefits.

Community Safety Concerns and Ongoing Legal Disputes

Federal prosecutors cited Taylor’s subsequent drug test failures and missed treatment sessions, expressing concerns about her danger to the community and adherence to court orders.

Zwerner’s allegations suggest repeated dismissals of warnings and concerns regarding the child’s behavior by school administrators, furthering the legal complexities of the case.

TDPel Media

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