Mother of 6-year-old boy who shot teacher faces new federal charges

Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 4:58 AM CDT
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NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WTKR) - The mother of a 6-year-old Virginia boy accused of shooting his teacher in January is now facing federal gun and drug charges.

Deja Taylor, 25, is the mother of the 6-year-old boy who gained international attention when police say he opened fire on his teacher at Richneck Elementary School. She was previously charged in Newport News Circuit Court with felony child neglect and a misdemeanor for leaving a firearm out that could endanger a child.

“She feels terrible that the teacher got shot,” said Jimmy Ellenson, defense attorney of Taylor.

Federal documents outlined Monday how Taylor is facing two more felony charges of possessing a gun while being a known marijuana user and making a false statement when buying a gun in July 2022.

Marijuana is legal in Virginia but not federally. When you buy a gun, you are asked if you are an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance, and marijuana falls under that code.

Ellenson said it’s a rare charge.

“It’s generally not marijuana. It’s generally other, harder drugs, so this is unusual,” he said.

The lawyer adds Taylor plans to plead guilty to the new charges.

“We’ve come to an agreement and a resolution, which I think will be satisfactory to all parties,” he said.

Ellenson says Taylor has worked with authorities from the day the shooting took place.

“She’s taking responsibility, which I think she’s tried to take responsibility from the beginning. She gave interviews to the police. … We consented to a search of her mom’s house and a phone download, as well. So, she has been cooperative from Day 1,” he said.

Taylor’s court hearing on the new charges is expected to happen within the next few days. She is due in court for the earlier charges in mid-August.