According to a news release from the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office on Monday, the mother of the 6-year-old who shot his first-grade teacher in Newport News, Virginia, in January has been charged with felony child negligence and one count of recklessly leaving a handgun to endanger a child.
Howard Gwynn, the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Newport News, stated last month that the youngster would not face any criminal charges.
Abigail Zwerner, 25, was shot by Deja Taylor’s son at Richneck Elementary School on January 6. She was hospitalized with gunshot wounds to her hand and chest.
According to a family lawyer who spoke to CNN in January, Taylor bought the rifle and put it on the top shelf of her bedroom closet, secured by a trigger lock. According to police, the kid carried the gun to school in his backpack.
According to the news release, the indictment follows a “thorough investigation” by the police and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office.
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Taylor, 26, “has cooperated from the first day of the event,” according to a statement made by one of the family’s attorneys on Tuesday, and she plans to turn herself in by the end of the week.
As always, the statement stressed that everyone engaged in the Richneck Elementary School event, including the teacher and Deja’s son, needed to remain well and safe.
The youngster was unaccompanied on the day of the shooting, despite being under a care plan that called for a parent to go to school with him because of his “severe handicap.” The statement stated, “We will regret our absence on this day for the rest of our lives.”
In a complaint filed this month, Zwerner claims that despite worries over a gun being in the boy’s hands on the day of the killing, school authorities and the school board were aware of the student’s “history of random violence” and failed to take proactive action.
The charges in the lawsuit brought against the youngster and the family, according to Ellenson, “should be regarded with a heavy grain of salt.”
Without making any additional comments regarding the complaint, Ellenson added, “We of course continue to pray for Ms. Zwerner’s full recovery.
An attorney representing Zwerner claims that Richneck Elementary School employees and officials were aware that the youngster was violent at home and that his parents declined to have him enrolled in special education classes despite this knowledge. The complaint wants $40 million in compensatory damages.
The 6-year-old was reportedly compelled to have a parent with him during the school day for the first half of the school year “because of his violent tendencies,” according to the court record.
Yet, the complaint claims that on that particular day, school officials “allowed him to remain unsupervised without a one-on-one companion during the school day.”
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