Mother Of Virginia 6-Year-Old Who Shot Teacher Sentenced To 2 Years In Prison 

School Playing Grounds Being Sold Off
LONDON - DECEMBER 18: A concrete surfaced playground is shown December 18, 2002 in London. School playing fields are being sold off at a rate of almost one a week despite government assurances that the Conservative policy of selling sports grounds would be reversed. (Photo by John Li/Getty Images)
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OAN’s Abril Elfi
3:20 PM – Saturday, December 16, 2023

A Virginia mother whose six-year-old son shot his teacher was sentenced to two years in prison.


On Friday, Circuit Judge Christopher Papile sentenced 26-year-old Deja Taylor to two years behind bars.

Taylor had been charged with felony child neglect in April and previously pleaded guilty in August.

The judge’s sentence was more severe than the six months in prison that the prosecution had recommended. The prosecution had dropped the misdemeanor charge of recklessly storing a firearm as part of a plea agreement.

After serving 21 months for a related federal charge, Taylor must start her state sentence. She was sentenced last month after entering a guilty plea in June to the charge of using marijuana while in possession of a firearm, which is prohibited by federal law.

Taylor’s son, who is currently 7 years old, is still in the custody of his great-grandfather, Calvin Taylor, according to family attorney James Ellenson.

Ellenson continued, “Deja Taylor may have supervised contact with her son at Calvin Taylor’s discretion.”

On January 6th, Taylor’s son took her handgun to school at Richneck Elementary in Virginia and shot his first-grade teacher, Zwerner, in the classroom, leaving her severely wounded.

Zwerner was shot in the hand and chest and needed four separate surgeries, according to her legal team.

After the shooting, the child told a reading specialist who assessed him, “I shot that (expletive) dead” and “I got my mom’s gun last night,” according to search warrants.

Less than two weeks after the shooting, investigators searched Taylor’s home and discovered an ounce of marijuana in her bedroom and proof of frequent drug use in her cell phone messaging history.

Court documents state that agents found marijuana and a box of ammunition in Taylor’s home, along with several other items. They also discovered marijuana when they searched Taylor’s mother’s residence, where Taylor was staying at the time.

According to documents, before pleading guilty, Taylor lied on the ATF form she completed when purchasing the firearm, claiming “she was not an unlawful user of marijuana or other controlled substances.”

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