Mother of 6-year-old who shot Newport News teacher faces federal charges

deja taylor court
Posted at 5:15 PM, Jun 05, 2023

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Deja Taylor, the mother of the 6-year-old Newport News boy accused of shooting his teacher at Richneck Elementary School on January 6, 2023, is now facing federal gun and drug charges.

Federal documents outline how Taylor is accused of knowing she was an unlawful user of marijuana when she possessed and purchased a gun from a gun shop in Grafton, Virginia.

Previously, the 25-year-old mom was charged in Newport News Circuit Court with felony child neglect and a misdemeanor for leaving a firearm that could endanger a child.

She has court for those charges in mid-August.

The purchase of the gun took place on or about July 19, 2022, according to court records.

She is also accused of filing false information on the gun paperwork.

Marijuana is legal in Virginia, but not federally legal.

When you buy a gun, you are asked if you use or are addicted to controlled substances which include marijuana on the required documents.

WTKR met with her attorney, Jimmy Ellenson who said his client 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.

He said she has been fully cooperative since the shooting took place and has taken responsibility from the beginning and feels awful that the teacher was shot.

"She (Taylor) gave interviews to the police the day this occurred and gave another interview the week after. We consented to a search of her mom's house. We consented to an i-Phone download as well so she has been cooperative from day one," said Ellenson.

Taylor is expected to have a court hearing for the new federal charges within the next week or two.

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