A Florida mom took the unprecedented step of not only forgiving her daughter’s killer, but also assisting him to secure a plea deal, which means he avoids a long prison sentence.
The 16-year-old, Jordyn Howe, who brought his stepdad’s “unloaded” pistol to school to show off fired the gun at the floor so everyone could hear the click.
As a joke, he then pointed the weapon at his classmate Lourdes “Jina” Guzman-DeJesus and pulled the trigger. Unfortunately, there was a bullet in the chamber and the resulting shot hit her in the neck and killed her.
The victim’s mother, Martha “Ady” Guzman-DeJesus, went as far as to hug Jordyn Howe in court, saying:
It is our hope that… he will join me in going from school to school; from child to child; from parent to parent; from teacher to teacher urging them to understand how dangerous guns are in the hands of children
Howe was looking at minimum of 22 months in prison for the shooting of the 13-year-old girl,but following the plea deal, which was orchestrated by the victim’s mother, he will serve only a year in a juvenile facility, and then tour Florida together with her to spread the message against gun violence.
Even though, at first, Mrs. Guzman-DeJesus demanded a harsh sentence for the suspect, she ultimately decided to reach a “better” solution along with lawyers and Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Ellen Sue Venzer.
Guzman-DeJesus’ attorney, Ron Book, said that the agreement was reached as Howe showed real regret for his actions: “The consensus was this was a kid who was truly is regretful about having brought the gun to school, a kid who had a relationship with Jina.”
The victim’s mother also spoke about how she has taken it upon herself to forgive her daughter’s killer: “I forgive him because I’ve found peace because I feel like my daughter now is in peace. It won’t bring my daughter back, but at least it will keep her name alive,” she said.