NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Deja Taylor will be able to remain on bond despite acknowledging that she broke the terms of it by testing positive for drugs, a judge ruled Thursday.
Her attorneys argued that she should remain on bond because she has shown progress in dealing with substance abuse issues, and leniency and second chances were in the air as the judge agreed.
Her attorneys had argued in a filing that despite four positive drug tests since Aug. 25, the levels of the drugs are going down “and show that Ms. Taylor is abstaining from this drug.”
Taylor showed up at Newport News federal court with family and her attorney Jim Ellenson, who said the decision by Magistrate Judge Doug Miller showed compassion, and he expects the same from federal judge Mark Davis when Taylor is to be sentenced Oct. 18 after pleading guilty in June to charges of unlawful use of a controlled substance in possession of a firearm, and making a false statement during the purchase of a firearm.
“I think it does,” Ellenson said. “I think Judge Miller has historically shown a lot of compassion, a lot of understanding. And I think Judge Davis will too. I’m not looking for a sentence of incarceration, but if that happens, I know that Judge Davis will fashion a sentence that would be appropriate to Deja and that would include mental health counseling, substance abuse counseling and all the rest.”
They say the positive test for cocaine “was an aberration and likely caused from her use of marijuana unknowingly laced with cocaine,” and that she has had “regular and full compliance” with those running the Mental Health Services counseling program.
Taylor, the mother of the boy who shot his teacher in a Richneck Elementary School classroom, “does not dispute the factual assertion in the government’s motion. However, since the filing of the motion, there have been substantial positive development that counter the government’s strong objections to Ms. Taylor’s remaining on bond.”
Taylor did not answer questions.
In court, it was noted that Taylor has had five positive drug tests, but on the most recent test, taken Sept. 11, she tested negative.
Miller put emphasis on that last test, the negative one, and decided not to revoke the bond. However, he made it clear that this is it. Don’t mess up again.
10 On Your Side asked Ellenson about whether he has talked with Taylor about not violating the terms of her bond.
“That is the conversation,” he said. “What else can you say?”
But does Taylor understand that?
“I guess we will find out in the next three weeks,” Ellenson said.
10 On Your Side asked Deja’s grandfather, Calvin Taylor, who has custody of his great-grandson, the six-year-old shooter of his teacher, what he thought about the judge’s decision of leniency?
“What he did, I may have made a different decision, but I am not a judge,” Calvin Taylor said.
But for Taylor, it would seem the best decision for her was to not revoke bond and to allow her to remain free, which is what the judge did.
10 On Your Side asked him what he meant by saying that it wasn’t a decision that he would have made.
“I am only human, sir,” Calvin Taylor said. “What I would do to someone else is totally different.”
Noted that the judge is giving his granddaughter a second chance, he said, “I do not think it is a second chance. I think he’s giving her what she deserves.”
Even though she was in violation of probation?
“This country was founded on second chances,” he said.