Teen guilty in fatal Delaware high school fight

Posted at 10:11 PM, Apr 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-13 22:11:02-04

A fight in a bathroom at Howard High School of Technology in Wilmington, Delaware, ended in the death of 16-year-old Amy Inita Joyner-Francis.
Credit – Amy Inita Joyner-Francis/Instagram

A Delaware teenager was convicted Thursday of criminally negligent homicide in the beating death of a schoolmate last year in a high school bathroom.

The girl, who authorities said was largely responsible for assaulting Amy Joyner-Francis, 16, also was found guilty of third-degree criminal conspiracy in the bench trial in Delaware Family Court.

Two other teenage girls were charged with third-degree criminal conspiracy; one was found guilty, the other was acquitted.

State Prosecutor and Deputy Attorney General Sean P. Lugg had requested that the girl charged with criminally negligent homicide be tried as an adult, but the judge ruled against that motion. The teen was 16 at the time of the incident.

“Today’s decision is another reminder for children and adults that their actions have consequences,” the Delaware Department of Justice told CNN in a statement. “Hopefully, today’s outcome will begin the all-important healing process, and allow a sense of normalcy to return to the school.”

Amy was attacked in the bathroom of Howard High School of Technology in Wilmington on April 21, 2016. The physical and mental toll caused by the attack triggered a preexisting heart condition and caused her to die from a sudden cardiac death, the medical examiner’s office said.

“There was an altercation that initially started between two people, and my understanding is that additional individuals joined in against the one person,” Gary Fullman, chief of staff to the Wilmington mayor, said then.

The three Howard High students were indefinitely suspended. CNN is not identifying the girls because they are minors.

Amy was an honor-roll student and manager of the wrestling team, CNN affiliate WPVI quoted City Councilwoman Sherry Dorsey Walker, a family spokeswoman, as saying.

Sentencing is set for May 23. Juveniles convicted of a crime in Delaware can face probation, house arrest, incarceration and fines.