Del. Teen Didn’t Expect High School Bathroom Assault to End in Death, Attorney Says

ABC7 Screenshot
ABC7 Screenshot

Attorney John Deckers is calling the Delaware high school bathroom assault that left a 16-year-old dead an “unforeseeable tragedy,” saying that his client—who is charged with criminally negligent homicide—had no way of knowing that the incident would end in death, the Associated Press reports.


Deckers says that his client, who is also 16, has maintained good grades and has no other prior disciplinary history involving fighting or other disruptive behavior, the newswire notes. He also says that his client had no way of knowing that the April 21 incident at Wilmington’s Howard High School of Technology would leave 16-year-old Amy Joyner-Francis dead.

“This is a painful, confusing and unforeseeable tragedy for all involved,” he said.

On Monday it was revealed that Amy, who had a pre-existing heart condition, died of sudden cardiac arrest. The physical and emotional stress she endured during the attack was listed as a contributing factor in her death.

According to the report, prosecutors are seeking to try the teen as an adult. The teen is currently under home confinement after being released Tuesday on $13,000 unsecured bond.

The two other 16-year-olds accused of being involved in the assault and are facing misdemeanor conspiracy charges.

Deckers told AP that his client and her family wanted to express their deepest and sincere condolences to Amy’s family.


“The altercation was between two teens who knowingly and willingly entered the bathroom for that purpose,” Deckers said. “The possible consequence—that a consensual fight, involving no blunt force injuries, could ever result in death due to an unknown, pre-existing medical condition—was entirely unapparent to either girl.

“A teenager has no way of reasonably perceiving or anticipating that death might occur in this type of a consensual confrontation—something which otherwise appeared to be a not uncommon, although ugly and regrettable, fight between two schoolgirls,” he added.


Read more at CBS News.