Charges filed in death of Amy Joyner-Francis

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Wilmington, Del. (WTXF)  Authorities say three teens are facing charges in connection with the death of Amy Joyner-Francis. FOX 29 is not naming them because they are juveniles.

Police were called to Howard High School of Technology around 8:20 a.m. Thursday, April 21st. Amy Joyner-Francis was flown to A.I. DuPont Children's Hospital in critical condition and was pronounced dead a short time later.  The honor roll student died 90 minutes after an attack by the three classmates inside a school bathroom, according to investigators. 

Over the next few weeks, police investigated the deadly beating. Today, authorities announced charges against three minors in the case.

Authorities say a 16-year-old girl, the only person believed to have struck Joyner-Francis, is charged with criminally negligent homicide. Two teens are charged as minors and are facing conspiracy charges.

Prosecutors say the charges against the girls are the maximum degree allowable by law. We are told state prosecutors and a Wilmington detective met with Amy's mother and older brother to let them know about the charges being filed. 

An autopsy revealed Amy's death resulted not from blunt force trauma but from "sudden cardiac death" due to a pre-existing heart defect.

The medical examiner says, "Amy died from a cardiac incident that she was vulnerable to because of a pre-existing heart condition but the cardiac incident would not have occurred if she had not been assaulted."

Investigators say it was only one of the girls who hit Amy that day. However, since the fight was only a contributing factor, the 16-year-old who they are pushing to be tried as an adult. would only get a maximum of 8 years in prison. The other two girls a year max.  

Last month, Amy's father, Sonny Francis, spoke to FOX 29.

“I think this is a dream and I'm trying to wake up. All I know is my daughter is gone. She was the love of my life and it hurts.”

Francis says his daughter was a great student and a loving teenager who was into fashion and was very close with her family, especially her mother who dropped her off at school this morning not knowing she would never see Amy again.  

Mayor Dennis P. Williams released the following statement:

“What happened at Howard High School is a tragedy. From the beginning, the Wilmington Police Department and the Department of Justice worked hand and hand to determine the appropriate charges. This is just the first step toward providing Amy’s family and our community with closure. As this process moves forward, I ask that we keep the family and loved ones of everyone involved in our thoughts and prayers."




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This is a developing story, please stay with FOX 29 for updates.