A Virginia woman whose then-6-year-old son shot his first-grade teacher inside a classroom this year was sentenced Friday to two years in prison for child neglect.

Deja Taylor’s son, who has not been identified, shot Abigail Zwerner on Jan. 6 at Richneck Elementary in Newport News, Virginia, with Taylor’s handgun, authorities said. Taylor faced up to five years in prison, but struck a plea deal with prosecutors.

At her Friday afternoon court hearing, a judge ruled Taylor should serve two years in prison.

Taylor’s son told authorities he got his mother’s 9mm handgun by climbing onto a drawer to reach the top of a dresser, where the firearm was in his mom’s purse. 

He concealed the weapon in his backpack and then his pocket before shooting his teacher, Abby Zwerner, in front of her first-grade class.

Taylor initially told investigators she had secured her gun with a trigger lock, but investigators said they never found one.

Her sentencing Friday comes a month after Taylor was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison for using marijuana while owning a firearm.

This is a developing story and will be updated.


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