Fugitive mother charged after her 6-year-old shot teacher set to turn herself in by week's end

Deja Nicole Taylor, mother to a first grader who shot a teacher, will turn herself in by the week's end in a deal with prosecutors.


Deja Nicole Taylor, the mother of a 6 year old boy who shot his teacher at a Virginia elementary school in January, will turn herself in by week’s end under an agreement with prosecutors, announced her attorney Tuesday as reported by Daily Press.

Taylor, 25, was formally charged by a grand jury in Newport News, Virginia on Monday after her 6 year old son shot his teacher, Abby Zwerner, 25, in the chest during class on Jan. 6 at Richneck Elementary School.


The first grader used his mother’s handgun, a Taurus 9mm, which he brought to school in his backpack.

Taylor obtained the firearm legally and maintains it was secured by a trigger lock and stored on the top shelf of a closet. Taylor claims she does not know how her son accessed it.

Taylor, who faces charges of felony child neglect and recklessly leaving a firearm so as to endanger a child, will work “collaboratively” with prosecutors vowed her attorney James Ellenson who notes that “Deja has cooperated from the first day of the incident.”

Ellenson, a veteran lawyer who has been practicing law in Newport News since 1981 noted that the mother of one has no criminal record and intends to be as cooperative.

“Most criminal prosecutions are adversarial in nature," Ellenson said, "but we will make our best efforts so that these proceedings will be more collaborative than most."

If convicted, Taylor faces up to 6 years in prison.

Prosecutors have recommended that upon surrendering herself, Taylor may be released on a $5,000 bond with surety, which means Taylor could remain free by paying only 10 percent of the total amount— $500 — to a bail bondsman. Or she could post $5,000 in property to back her promise to return for future hearings.

“This is a good first step towards a just resolution of the charges,” Ellenson said, terming the bond amount “reasonable.”


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