Two 17-year-old Maryland girls will not serve prison time for a school bathroom attack last year that left their high school classmate dead.
Howard High School of Technology sophomore Amy Inita Joyner-Francis (pictured) died last April after a brutal fight in the high school bathroom exacerbated her pre-existing heart condition, according to Delaware Online. Dozens of girls watched the fight and at least two recorded the altercation on their cell phones.
The judge convicted Carr of criminally negligent homicide, according to the Associated Press, but Trinity Carr will not serve any jail time for the attack despite Joyner-Francis' mother and a state prosecutor’s pleas. The judge sentenced Carr to six months at a secure residential program for female youth and ordered her to complete various forms of probation and community service until age 21.
"It is a case in which no one is looking to determine who wins and who loses because everyone has lost," said Family Court Judge Robert Coonin. "The community has lost, the defendants and their families have lost, and most importantly, Amy's family has lost. … Nothing that any of us say or do here can ever change that – myself included."
Zion Snow, 17, who was accused of planning the attack but never punched Joyner-Francis, was sentenced to 18 months of community supervision, according to the report.
On Monday, the two girls – Carr and Snow – appeared for sentencing. Deputy Attorney General Phillip Casale read a letter from the victim’s mother.
"They took another human being's life," Inita B. Joyner wrote. "A child's life, my baby's life, and this is not acceptable in any manner."
She wrote that her daughter dreamed of becoming a doctor or pursuing a law career. She also wrote that changes need to be made to the criminal justice system to show consequences for such actions.
Carr's attorney, John Deckers, argued that the focus must be rehabilitation and the best interest of the child, he said.
"Children are well worth the investment of time and services because they are mentally, psychologically resilient and open to change," he said. "Their behavior is correctable, and they are capable of becoming caring, productive members of society."
He stated that Carr has faced a public backlash as a result of the tragedy. He also said the teen is making positive changes in her life.
"This is a very real consequence to Trinity and her family and her siblings and her parents that survives no matter what happens, no matter what sentence this court imposes," he said. "Please, your honor, don't underestimate the vile, despicable nature of this backlash."
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