The three teenage girls accused in the fatal assault of a 16-year-old female student at a Wilmington, Delaware, high school were charged Monday, authorities said.
The Delaware Department of Justice said prosecutors and a Wilmington Police Department detective met with the mother and older brother of Amy Joyner-Francis to discuss what charges would be filed against the girls, according to a news release.
The three teens jumped Joyner-Francis April 21 in a bathroom at Howard High School of Technology. Joyner-Francis hit her head on the sink and became unconscious.
She was flown to a children's hospital, but was pronounced dead later that day.
The girls were removed from school since they assaulted the victim.
"The individuals responsible for Amy Joyner-Francis’ death are minors, but they must be held accountable for their actions," the release said. "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 release said two factors were involved in deciding the charges.
The Medical Examiner's Office ruled Joyner-Francis died because of 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."
It also said that only one of the three students actually hit Joyner-Francis, although all three girls planned the assault.
Multiple reports said the assault occured over a boy, according to People.com.
CBS News reported that one student has been charged with criminally negligent homicide. The DOJ seeks to have her tried as an adult. Her charge is punishable by up to eight years in prison.
The other two students are charged with third-degree criminal conspiracy for allegedly helping to plan the assault. The charge is punishable by up to one year in prison. They will be tried as juveniles since they did not physically assault the victim.
All three girls were named in the news release.