Mother of 6-year-old who shot teacher to plead guilty in new federal case: lawyer

The mother of the six-year-old student who shot his first-grade teacher earlier this year will plead guilty to federal charges, her attorney has reportedly said.

NBC News and CNN report that the attorney for Deja Taylor said the anticipated guilty plea was part of a deal with prosecutors that will keep the case from going to a grand jury. Further details on the terms of the deal will be revealed when Taylor enters the plea.

Taylor was charged with unlawful use of a controlled substance while in possession of a firearm and with making a false statement during the purchase of the firearm, according to the reports. 

Taylor’s six-year-old son shot Richneck Elementary School teacher Abby Zwerner in the head and chest inside her classroom back in January. Taylor has said she’s “willing to take responsibility” for the incident as a parent.

Zwerner sustained gunshot woulds but survived and later filed a lawsuit against the Newport News School Board and the school’s administrators, claiming gross negligence and reckless disregard. 

School officials revealed after the incident that administrators had suspected the child may have had a weapon before the shooting occurred and searched his backpack, though nothing turned up, according to the Associated Press.

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NFL investigating Colts player for possible violations of the league’s gambling policy

The NFL has launched an investigation into whether an Indianapolis Colts player has made possible violations of the league’s gambling policy. first reported on Monday that the investigation surrounding the Indianapolis, Ind.-based NFL franchise is “isolated to one player.” 

A source told the sports media outlet that the unidentified player was involved in “pervasive” wagering activities, saying there is evidence that the player placed hundreds of wagers, including some wagers being placed on his own team. 

In a statement, Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) Deputy Director Jenny Reske told Sports Handle that her agency is looking into the matter. 

“I can confirm that we have received information pertaining to this matter and we are following developments,” Reske told the outlet. “The IGC is not the lead agency because it involves violations of league policy. We will, however, continue to review information as it emerges to see if it requires any regulatory action.”

The news comes as the league suspended five players, four from the Detriot Lions and one from the Washington Commanders, for violating the league’s gambling policy. 

Lions wide receiver Quintez Cephus, safety C.J. Moore and Commanders defensive end Shaka Toney were suspended indefinitely by the league for betting on NFL games. 

Lions wide receivers Jameson Williams, a former 2022 first-round pick by Detriot, and Stanely Berryhill received six-game suspensions from the league for betting on non-NFL games from a team facility. 

Cephus, Moore, and Berryhill were later released by the Lions, according to ESPN. 

Last year, the NFL suspended then-Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley for a full season for violating the league’s gambling policy. Ridley, a former standout at the University of Alabama, was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars last season. 

Ridley, 28, was then the fifth league player to sit out a full season due to gambling, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Paul Hornung and Alex Karras and former Colts quarterback Art Schlichter. 

A Colts spokesperson told ESPN that they are aware of the league’s investigation, adding that they “have no further comment at this time.”

The NFL declined to comment on the matter at The Hill’s inquiry. 

The Hill has reached out to the Indianapolis Colts and the Indiana Gaming Commission for comment and more information on the matter.

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Heat’s Udonis Haslem criticizes DeSantis, but says people should stop ‘Florida-shaming’ residents

Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem called out Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) for policies that target the Black and LGBTQ communities in the state, but he said people shouldn’t shame state residents for the governor’s politics.

“I happen to live there and I was born there. It’s not my fault,” Haslem, an elder statesman on the Heat who is retiring as a player at the end of the NBA Finals, told the Boston Globe on Saturday.

“So please stop Florida-shaming us people. We’re not happy about what this man [DeSantis] is doing,” Haslem said. “Diversity and inclusion and taking the [books away]. We’re not happy about that. I sit at home on the couch with my wife and raise hell.”

Haslem has played with the Heat throughout his long career, serving on championship teams first with Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal, and then with Wade and LeBron James.

He said he’s confused about the policies in his state, expressing disappointment at school policies that will affect his three sons and criticizing the state on its gun policies.

“You complain about what’s being taught in school, but we took away the gun [law] where you can buy a [expletive] assault rifle at 18,” the 43-year-old added. “I’m confused about what’s the priorities. We’re talking education and in the midst of all of this gun violence going on around the world, how about we just drop the gun laws and make it easier for them to get guns? The [expletive] is confusing to me, that’s why I’m not a politician.”

“All I can do is get my ass up and vote. That’s what I’m going to do,” Haslem said, the Globe reported. “I’m going to continue to encourage everybody around me. That’s all I can do.”

Haslem is the second current or former Heat player to express their displeasure with its state Legislature’s recent laws and policies. 

NBA legend Dwyane Wade said earlier this year that his family had to move from Florida due to the recent wave of anti-LGBTQ laws being passed, saying his family “would not be accepted” there. 

“A lot of people don’t know that. I have to make decisions for my family, not just personal, individual decisions,” Wade, who is the father of 16-year-old Zaya Wade, who came out as transgender in 2020.

In January, DeSantis’s administration rejected an Advanced Placement African American studies course, saying the content “significantly lacks educational value.” DeSantis, who announced his 2024 presidential campaign last month, signed the Parental Rights in Education last year, dubbed by its critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, banning classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity for certain grades.

The NAACP last month issued a formal travel advisory for Florida, saying the state has become “hostile to Black Americans” under DeSantis’s leadership.

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