According to ABC News, the ruling came this week in a nonjury trial for three girls charged in the death of Amy Joyner-Francis. Everyone involved was 16 at the time of the assault, and the trio were tried as juveniles.
One of the girls kicked Joyner-Francis while she was on the floor trying to defend herself. According to the report, this attacker was also was convicted of conspiracy. The third attacker was acquitted of conspiracy, with the judge finding no evidence she'd threatened Joyner-Francis. The third girl was seen on a cellphone video pulling the girl. She was convicted of homicide, according to ABC News. The girls have not been named because they are minors.
Joyner-Francis had a rare heart condition that was undiagnosed and undetected. According to the report, she died of sudden cardiac death, aggravated by physical and emotional stress from the fight at Howard High School of Technology in Wilmington, Delaware.
"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," said Family Court Judge Robert Coonin. He said that the encounter was an "attack," not a fight, adding that the teen convicted of homicide "struck the first blow without warning, and carried on the relatively brief but violent attack."
Defense attorneys argued that the death of the teen was unforeseeable and suggested that she was a willing participant in a fight, according to the report. Prosecutors said Joyner-Francis was not looking for a fight, but instead trying to avoid one. One of the attackers posted a Snapchat on the day of the fight showing Joyner-Francis talking to her assailant in the bathroom, trying to defuse the situation.
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