A 21-month prison sentence has been imposed on the mother of a six-year-old child who shot his teacher in the state of Virginia, United States of America, on a drug charge associated with the weapon used in the attack.
In June, 26-year-old Deja Taylor entered a guilty plea for cannabis use while in possession of a firearm. Sentencing is still pending her plea to the state for felony child neglect.
On January 6 according to sources, her son brought the firearm to school and injured teacher Abby Zwerner with the discharged bullet.
Ms. Zwerner has filed a lawsuit seeking $40 million (£32 million). Taylor's residence was searched for approximately 1 ounce (28 grammes) of cannabis subsequent to the incident.
Although many states, including Virginia, have legalised the substance, it is contrary to the law to possess a firearm while actively using drugs.
On Wednesday evening, as Judge Mark Davis imposed the entire term requested by prosecutors, Taylor reportedly wiped away tears in court.
He stated, "This case begs for imprisonment." A concise statement from Taylor's client, in which she expressed "lifelong regret," was read aloud by one of her attorneys.
Ms. Zwerner, according to sources, read aloud a victim impact statement at the hearing in which she described the physical and emotional toll the gunshot had taken on her.
"I have recurring nightmares involving a firearm and blood, gore, and mortality," she disclosed to the court. She further stated that five operations were required to restore function to her left hand, and that she has endured financial and emotional hardships ever since the incident.
She mentioned to sources that she feels as though she has lost her purpose as she once loved children.
Taylor will appear in court separately in December to address the allegation of child neglect.She negotiated a guilty plea in a federal court in Newport News, a city renowned for its military shipbuilding, in June.
Taylor was found guilty on two counts: possessing a firearm while using marijuana and providing false information regarding her drug use on a federal form.
Prosecutors had requested that she serve home confinement and probation. Taylor, they have argued, requires treatment for marijuana addiction and mental health issues, including schizoaffective disorder.
Two weeks after being shot in the hand and upper torso, Ms. Zwerner was admitted to the Virginia School Board; she subsequently filed a lawsuit against the board. She claimed that Richneck Elementary School was cognizant of the child's "repetitive disregard" for his "history of arbitrary violence."
At the beginning of this month, the school board was unsuccessful in its effort to invalidate the lawsuit on the grounds that her injuries were solely covered by workers' compensation.
The seven-year-old child told police he obtained the firearm by climbing a drawer to access his mother's purse, which was stored atop a dresser.
Additionally, investigators allegedly discovered indications of consistent drug usage in Taylor's text messages and in the vicinity of her residence containing paraphernalia.
The federal allegation of drug use while in possession of a firearm is uncommon and has been challenged in multiple courts on the grounds that it violates the constitutional right to bear arms.