Charges filed in death of Wilmington high school student

(Nichelle Polston/WHYY)

(Nichelle Polston/WHYY)

Three Howard High School students are now charged following last month’s fight that led to the death of Amy Joyner-Francis on April 21st.

16-year-old Trinity Carr was charged with Criminally Negligent Homicide which carries a maximum of eight years in prison. The Department of Justice is working to have Carr tried as an adult in Superior Court.

The other two students involved in the deadly school fight, Zion Snow and Chakeira Wright, both face third degree criminal conspiracy and a one year punishment if convicted. They’ll be tried as juveniles in Family Court since prosecutors said they did not physically strike Francis.

Last month, Francis was physically assaulted inside a girls bathroom on school grounds.

“The individuals responsible for Amy Joyner-Francis’s death are minors, but they must be held accountable for their actions. DOJ’s goal in making a charging decision was to ensure that those persons responsible for Amy’s death are held responsible to the maximum degree permissible by Delaware law,” according to a written statement released by the Department of Justice.

Officials said two facts about the case were significant in determining the charges. First, the Medical Examiner’s report and evidence indicating that Carr was the only person who actually hit Francis.

According to the autopsy report, Francis died from a sudden cardiac problem due to the physical assault. No internal or blunt force injuries were detected. Officials said a pre-existing heart condition only intensified the cardiac incident that would not have happened if Francis was not assaulted.

“Now that the police investigation is complete and criminal charges associated with the death of the Howard High School of Technology student on April 21 have been announced by the Delaware Department of Justice, the school district will follow through with necessary actions for the students involved in the incident based on the school district’s Code of Conduct,” said Superintendent Vicki Gehrt, of the New Castle County Vo-Tech School District. “Our responsibility is to follow school board policy and procedures for all students involved.”

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