NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WRIC) — The news that a 6-year-old in Newport News shot and injured his teacher in early January drew national attention. This week, the Newport News Commonwealth’s Attorney said he believes that the law does not support charging the child for the crime.
On, Jan. 6, 2023, a 6-year-old student at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News brought a gun to school and shot teacher first grade teacher Abby Zwerner, who was seriously hurt. Zwerner has since been released from the hospital and is recovering.
According to 13 News Now, Newport News Commonwealth’s Attorney Howard Gwynn said on Wednesday, March 8 that he does not believe the law supports charging a 6-year-old child with aggravated assault.
“The general consensus [among experts across the country] is that a 6-year-old cannot form the requisite criminal intent to be guilty of an aggravated assault,” Gwynn told 13 News Now.
Gwynn also stated that his office needs to review the entire investigative report and “hours and hours of police body camera footage” from Newport News Police before he charges anyone else in this case.
“And once all that information is viewed and we understand the facts fully, then we will apply the facts to the law and if the law supports charging persons with criminal offenses that we can prove beyond a reasonable doubt, then those persons will be charged,” Gwynn told 13 News Now.