Three teenage girls have been charged in connection with the killing of Amy Joyner-Francis, who died in a fight in a high school bathroom.
In a statement, the Delaware Department of Justice said, “The individuals responsible for Amy Joyner-Francis’s death are minors, but they must be held accountable for their actions.” The department added that the officials had met with the deceased victim’s mother and discussed the charges to be filed.
As reported by 6abc.com, one of the 16-year-old girls involved in the killing has been charged with criminally negligent homicide. The girl, who is the only one among the three believed to have struck Joyner-Francis, could face up to eight years in prison. However, permission will be sought from the Family Court to have the suspect tried as an adult. The other two accused have been charged with third degree criminal conspiracy, punishable up to a year of prison time.
On Monday, officials said that the victim had died from a “cardiac incident” as a result of a heart condition she suffered from. In a statement, as reported by CBS News, the officials said, “In layman’s terms, the Medical Examiner determined that Amy died from a cardiac incident that she was vulnerable to because of a pre-existing heart condition, but the cardiac incident would not have occurred if she had not been assaulted.”
Joyner-Francis’ death was “a terrible accident in the context of an ugly incident,” according to chief state public defender Brendan O’Neill. “It’s a tragedy all the way around,” he said. “The consequences are going to be life-changing for all the kids involved.” O’Neill’s office is representing one of the accused charged with conspiracy.
Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams said in a statement that the charges are a first step in helping Joyner-Francis’ family with closure. “As this process moves forward, I ask that we keep the family and loved ones of everyone involved in our thoughts and prayers,” Williams said.
“At the end of the day, nothing brings Amy back,” Wilmington City Council member Sherry Dorsey Walker said. “So whatever the charges are, their issue is, Amy is never coming home.”
“Now their lives are completely destroyed, and for what?” said Walker. “A bathroom fight. Is it worth it?”