Deja Taylor, 25, was charged Monday with being an unlawful user of a controlled substance in possession of a firearm, as well as making a false statement during the purchase of a firearm. She was previously indicted in April, with a Virginia grand jury upholding charges of felony child neglect and recklessly leaving a loaded firearm so as to endanger a child.
While she has maintained that she does not know how her son obtained the firearm, Taylor has apologized to the teacher, Abigail Zwerner, and insisted that she is responsible for her son's access to the weapon. Taylor's attorney, James Ellenson, said that she would be pleading guilty to the federal charges. The boy will not be charged.
One of the charges accuses Taylor of being "an unlawful user of marijuana." While recreational marijuana is legal in Virginia for those over the age of 21, Taylor allegedly lied when filling out a federal document to purchase the Taurus 9 mm handgun used in the shooting.
After being shot in the chest and hand on January 6, Zwerner led the other 20 students in her class to safety. She has since claimed that school officials were alerted multiple times that the boy had exemplified troubling behavior, and that they were even aware he may have possessed a weapon. The boy reportedly had a history of violent outbursts.
Zwerner has since filed a $40 million lawsuit against school officials, which the administration has sought to dismiss as a worker's compensation matter — which would define the shooting as an ordinary on-the-job injury.
Ellenson, Taylor’s attorney, said the shooting was "a tragedy for all parties, most especially teacher Abby Zwerner for whom we wish a complete recovery."