Three teenage girls were held responsible for executing a beating at a Delaware high school that led to the death of 16-year-old, Amy Joyner-Francis, CBS Philly reports.
Family court Judge Robert Coonin read his verdict in about 20 minutes. Cellphone footage shows the teen facing the most serious charge beating Joyner-Francis inside a Howard High School of Technology bathroom. She was found delinquent or guilty in Joyner-Francis’ slaying.
Judge Coonin concluded that the teen was responsible for Joyner-Francis’ death and should have known such an attack posed that particular risk. She faces the most serious charge of criminally negligent homicide in the case.
“While it may be true that Amy Joyner-Francis, due to her condition would have died from a multitude of stressors, until such an event occurred, if at all, she had a right to live one more day, one more week, one more month or year, until her time, without a contributing cause of another,” the judge stated.
Joyner-Francis died on April 8, 2015 after a fight she had with the girls at Howard High School prior to the start of classes. She was pronounced dead as she was being transported via helicopter to A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children.
During the trial, lawyers for the defendants argued Joyner-Francis was a willing participant in the fight and that her death was incapable of being predicted.
“From the very moment this occurred there has been a great deal of confusion as to how this would happen. I told her she’ll be fine. She has a family. She’s a good child. This is the first fight she has ever gotten into,” Defense Attorney, John Deckers said. “There’s been a lot of children affected by this tragedy. There’s no one who emerges from this unaffected.”
Family members of Joyner-Francis sat silent in the courtroom as the judge read the guilty verdict. Sherry Dorsey, a spokesperson for the victim’s family said, “At the end of the day, you cannot brutalize someone, pummel someone in the bathroom and lead to their death and there’s no consequence for that action.”