Skip to comments.Conviction in fatal school bathroom attack overturned by Delaware Supreme Court
Posted on 03/02/2018 11:07:43 PM PST by MarvinStinson
The Delaware Supreme Court overturned conviction of a teen in the fatal beating of a classmate at a Wilmington high school in 2016.
Trinity Carr was 17 when a Family Court Judge found her guilty of criminally negligent homicide and third-degree criminal conspiracy. Amy Inita Joyner-Francis was 16 when she died April 21, 2016, after a violent encounter with Carr and two others in a restroom at Howard High School of Technology.
The state medical examiner testified that Joyner-Francis suffered sudden cardiac death brought on by a rare combination of heart and lung defects that contributed to her death.
In its ruling released Thursday, the state Supreme Court said that Carr could not have foreseen that the attack would cause Joyner-Francis to die from cardiac arrest.
"No reasonable factfinder could conclude that (Carr's) attack which inflicted only minor physical injuries posed a risk of death so great that (she) was grossly deviant for not recognizing it," the Supreme Court opinion reads.
During a bench trial, prosecutors accused Carr, Zion Snow and Chakiera Wright of planning the confrontation in the 20 hours before the attack. Snow was found delinquent a term used when a juvenile is found guilty of third-degree conspiracy.
At the center of the prosecution's case was cellphone video of the assault. The video shows Carr dragging Joyner-Francis by her long, braided hair through a handicap-accessible stall in the bathroom. Carr swings her arms and lands punches onto the head and torso of Joyner-Francis, who was on the floor clutching her purse.
The fight exacerbated a pre-existing heart condition in Joyner-Francis, leading to her death, according to testimony from the state Medical Examiner's Office.
(Excerpt) Read more at msn.com ...
Evidence presented during trial, including threatening messages posted by Snow on social media saying “we gonna get her,” demonstrated Carr and Snow were planning to attack Joyner-Francis, Coonin said.
The ruling is unlikely to have much impact on Carr’s sentence. In June, Carr was sentenced to six months at a secure residential program for female youth near Wilmington.
Carr was also found guilty of conspiracy under Croonin’s ruling. That conviction will stand, but Thursday’s Supreme Court order directs the Family Court to resentence Carr based only on the conspiracy offense.
The Supreme Court disagreed with Coonin’s interpretation of what Carr could have expected to result from the fight.
“(Joyner-Francis’) death, from cardiac arrest, was simply too remote from the hazards of (Carrs) conduct and too accidental in its occurrence to transform what (Carr) did from a physical attack into criminally negligent homicide,” the opinion states.
Yet another miscarriage of justice.
Those girls caused this heart defect to occur.
Killer Trinity Carr
“How to get away with murder”?
Joyner-Francis family ‘cannot find peace or justice’ in Delaware, spokeswoman says
Xerxes Wilson and Esteban Parra, The News Journal March 2, 2018
A spokeswoman for the family of Amy Inita Joyner-Francis says the overturned conviction of the teenager accused of killing Joyner-Francis is a disservice to Delaware children.
“The most dangerous city in the nation for children between 12 and 17 is Wilmington, Delaware,” said Sherry Dorsey Walker, a former Wilmington city councilwoman who has acted as a spokeswoman for the Joyner-Francis family through the court case. “The overturned ruling by the Delaware Supreme Court regarding the murder of Amy Joyner-Francis supports this fact.”
On Tuesday, the Delaware Supreme Court overturned the criminally negligent homicide conviction of Trinity Carr in the 2016 beating death of Joyner-Francis. Dorsey Walker said the Joyner-Francis family will not speak directly on the ruling. Attempts to reach the family were not successful Friday.
Joyner-Francis was 16 when she died on April 21, 2016, after being attacked by Carr and two other classmates in a restroom at Howard High School of Technology in Wilmington.
The state medical examiner testified that Joyner-Francis suffered sudden cardiac death brought on by a rare combination of heart and lung defects that contributed to her death. The fight exacerbated a pre-existing heart condition, leading to her death, according to testimony from the state Medical Examiner’s Office.
The heart defect and whether Carr could have reasonably expected Joyner-Francis could die from the attack were central to conviction. Family Court Judge Robert B. Coonin found Carr delinquent a term used when a juvenile is found guilty of criminally negligent homicide and third-degree conspiracy.
Zion Snow, another classmate involved in the attack, was also found delinquent of third-degree conspiracy. A third student was charged but exonerated.
In convicting Carr, Coonin said the students should have known that a fight could result in serious injury.
Carr’s failure to perceive the risk assumed in the attack constituted a “gross deviation” from the standard of conduct of her peers, he said.
However, the Supreme Court opinion ruled that Carr could not have foreseen the death ultimately caused by a heart defect unknown to her.
“No reasonable factfinder could conclude that (Carr’s) attack which inflicted only minor physical injuries posed a risk of death so great that Tracy was grossly deviant for not recognizing it,” the Supreme Court opinion reads.
Dorsey Walker said the brutality of the attack was clear.
A cellphone video of the assault shows Carr dragging Joyner-Francis by her braided hair into a stall in the bathroom. Carr is seen landing punches to the head and torso of Joyner-Francis.
“Did the justices see the video?” Dorsey-Walker said. “She and her cohorts plotted Amy’s death on social media, and they get to walk freely while Amy’s family is bound by her untimely death.”
While the Supreme Court recognized the crime was egregious, Widener University Delaware Law School professor Romie Griesmer said justices felt holding Carr responsible for the death itself was going too far. Thats because Joyner-Francis death was caused by a pre-existing heart condition and not the assault.
Even though the assault caused the death, thats not the only question we have to answer, Griesmer said. The death was not caused by fixtures or relation to the hard-tile floor, she said.
The death was caused by this intervening medical situation of the victim that no one knew about.
Carr’s conspiracy conviction will stand, but Thursday’s Supreme Court order directs the Family Court to resentence Carr based only on that offense. In June, Carr was sentenced on the homicide and conspiracy charge to six months at Grace Cottage a secure residential program for female youth near Wilmington.
While Carr has essentially served the six-month sentence imposed by the criminally negligent homicide conviction, reversing the conviction benefits her as she moves on with her life.
For the individual, it means a great deal, Griesmer said. A felony adjudication for someone who is 16 years or older is something that is going to be able to be seen in a history check on a person.
It is a huge determination for this child, said Griesmer, who is Wideners supervising attorney and lecturer at law.
Dorsey Walker said the Joyner-Francis family “cannot find peace or justice in the First State.”
A video of the fight also shows Carr punching Joyner-Francis in the head and chest, with witnesses saying someone slammed her head against a sink.
The ruling from the court is that its okay to kill someone if they have an underlying medical condition that contributes to their death. This is not an unheard of opinion. The further we sink into socialism, the more popular that opinion becomes.
well, it seems they say it is ok to kill if you dont know they have an underlying condition.
which totally seems to contradict law were hey to kill a pregnant woman. doesnt matter if they know in that case, they get charged for two murders.
it has to be one way or the other.
That's the way the law works, and the prosecutors know it. They lost this.
Why are blacks so damned violent?
Sorry, “criminally negligent” part, not “reckless endangerment”. My bad.
They have bad genetics. Not PC to discuss it, but proven.
And if they’d just pushed her down a staircase and killed her there would be an excuse too?
“Didn’t MEAN to?”
When a criminal engages in an act that results in a death, they may be charged with homicide or manslaughter (even if it is just one of their partners in crime and not a shop owner, or whatever).
The attack was intentional.
Was the filmmaker behind the snuff video charged with additional crimes?
And yet when police officers restrain a suspect who is resisting arrest, the death by such medical condition is cause for rioting and violent response according to the US Com-Left MSM and disgraceful ex-president Obama.
Racism of course.
So they downgraded it all to misdemeanor charges???
From the definition, "involuntary manslaughter is 'unintentional', because the killer did not intend for a death to result from their intentional actions." In Delaware, the statute calls that "Criminally Negligent Homicide" (code section 631) which is a class D felony. Voluntary manslaughter would be where the death is intended.
I can see where the court determined the death was a surprise to the perp, but to dismiss the charge rather than have it re-adjudicated is a miscarriage of justice. So it appears the Court emoted about that poor, poor beotch who killed the girl with malice aforethought, not wanting to ruin her life. But a life was ruined, permanently.
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