by Kerry Dougherty
Four words came to mind when news broke yesterday that a Newport News grand jury had indicted the mother of a 6-year-old school shooter: what took so long?
It’s been 13 weeks since a FIRST GRADER brought a handgun to school in his backpack and used it to shoot his teacher in front of his classmates.
It’s been 94 days since the 6-year-old sociopath got his hands on his mother’s gun and took it to school.
During the ensuing three months, prosecutors repeatedly said they weren’t sure the owner of the gun would be charged for the near-murder.
That effectively meant no one would be held criminally responsible for the shooting. It’s widely accepted that a 6-year-old cannot be charged with a crime.
Finally, on April 10, a grand jury indicted the gun owner — the mother of the shooter — and charged her with felony child neglect and a misdemeanor count of recklessly storing a firearm so a child could gain access to it.
Deja Taylor, 25, faces a maximum of six years incarceration on the charges.
On the other hand, Abigail Zwerner, also 25, faces a lifetime of recovery from her wounds and no one knows the long-term damage done to the room full of innocent 6-year-olds who were exposed to unspeakable violence.
Almost immediately after the shooting, authorities revealed that the shooter’s mother admitted that the gun used in the crime was hers. She insisted she kept it on the top shelf of a closet with a trigger lock.
If that’s true, her son — 6 years old, remember — is some sort of Houdini.
Most likely, there is more to the story. That information seems to have persuaded the grand jury that a crime was committed. The details will become public in court.
In the meantime, Commonwealth’s Attorney Howard Gwynn has asked the courts to appoint a special grand jury to investigate the actions of Richneck school officials who allegedly ignored warnings that this child — who had serious behavior problems, according to many accounts — had a gun on school property.
Republished with permission from Kerry: Unemployed and Unedited.