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Three charged in connection with death of Howard High student

Megan Pauly/Delaware Public Media

The Attorney General’s Office has filed charges connection with the death of 16-year-old Howard High student Amy Joyner-Francis last month.

16-year-old Trinity Carr was charged Monday with Criminally Negligent Homicide in the case, and faces up to 8 years in jail.  The AG’s office is seeking to have her tried as an adult in Superior Court.

Two other girls allegedly involved,  Zion Snow and Chakeira Wright, face third degree criminal conspiracy charges.

"The individuals responsible for Amy Joyner-Francis’s death are minors, but they must be held accountable for their actions," said a state Dept. of Justice statement announcing the charges. " 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.

The state Department of Justice says its decision to pursue Criminally Negligent Homicide in the case is based on the state’s Medical Examiner determination that Joyner-Francis’ cause of death was "sudden cardiac death due to large atrial septal defect with a contributing factor of physical and emotional stress due to physical assault" or more simply put, a cardiac incident she was vulnerable to because of a pre-existing heart condition.

No internal injuries or significant blunt force injuries were found, but the Medical Examiner determined the cardiac incident that killed Joyner-Francis would not have occurred if she had not been assaulted.

Joyner died April 21st following an assault in a bathroom at Howard High.

The state DOJ adds that while its evidence indicates the two girls facing the lesser criminal conspiracy charge were involved in planning the confrontation, they did not strike Joyner-Francis.  Those two girls will be tried as juveniles in family Court and face a maximum of one year in jail if convicted.

Tom Byrne has been a fixture covering news in Delaware for three decades. He joined Delaware Public Media in 2010 as our first news director and has guided the news team ever since. When he's not covering the news, he can be found reading history or pursuing his love of all things athletic.
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