Hunter Biden’s attorneys may be hoping to challenge the federal prohibition on unlawful users of drugs and gun ownership, but the mother of a 6-year-old who brought her gun to a Virginia school and shot his teacher has accepted a plea deal offered by the DOJ and will plead guilty to the same charge that Biden’s potentially facing for his own gun purchase while he using crack cocaine.
Deja Taylor had no criminal record when she purchased the handgun at retail in July of 2022, almost a year after Virginia decriminalized recreational marijuana use. But as the ATF recently reminded Minnesota gun owners after Gov. Tim Walz signed a legalization bill into law, just because you can toke up without violating state law doesn’t mean you’re free and clear from any federal prosecution. While Taylor is also facing state-level charges of child neglect and recklessly leaving a firearm to endanger a child, given the high-profile nature of Taylor’s son shooting his teacher Abigail Zwerner I suspect the DOJ wanted to use this case to show they’re “getting tough” on gun offenders and this particular count was the easiest charge they could come up with.
Taylor was charged in U.S. District Court in Newport News on Monday by way of a criminal “information” — often a preliminary kind of charging document written by a prosecutor — rather than an indictment by a grand jury.Her attorney, James Ellenson, said he had been in discussions with prosecutors about the charges in recent weeks.“The information was an agreed procedure which eliminated the need for the government to take the case to a grand jury,” he wrote in a news release Monday. “Our action follows very constructive negotiations we had with federal authorities.”The maximum sentence for the two federal charges is 25 years combined, but discretionary sentencing guidelines would be significantly less.Taylor is expected to plead guilty to both charges by way of a plea agreement in the coming weeks, the attorney added.“The terms of the plea agreement will be disclosed at the time of the plea hearing,” Ellenson said. “We intend to present mitigating evidence that we trust the Court will view favorably at sentencing.” The judge assigned to the case, Chief U.S. District Judge Mark S. Davis, is expected to sentence Taylor later this year.