In a remarkable act of forgiveness, Miami area mother Ady Guzman-DeJesus embraced the boy who shot and killed her daughter on a school bus in a courtroom on Tuesday. And in a plea deal that she helped reach with the court, she will join her daughter’s killer to speak about the dangers of guns in schools around the state, once he attends a youth camp for a year.

Guzman-DeJesus said that it was what her daughter would have wanted her to do.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Ellen Sue Venzer said that after 20 years of seeing human tragedy unfold on the bench, the act was unprecedented.

“I could have never imagined a victim’s mother embracing her child’s killer,” Venzer said.


Image by Univision 23 Miami

One day in 2012, student Jordyn Howe was bringing his stepfather’s pistol to school in order to show it off to his friends. On the back of a school bus on the way to class, Howe allowed a friend to “rack” the gun, and then 13 year old Lourdes Guzman-DeJesus began “playing with it,” pulling the trigger and aiming it around.

At this point, according to the Miami Herald, Howe “took the gun back, pointed it at the floor, and pulled the trigger. No discharge. But then, with one hand, Howe lifted the gun toward Guzman-DeJesus and pulled the trigger.”

The bullet hit his friend in the neck, and she was rushed to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Howe pleaded guilty to manslaughter with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm by a minor and carrying a concealed weapon.

Thanks to the plea deal that elder Guzman-DeJesus helped broker, Lowe was adjudicated as a minor, and not as an adult. After his one year in a youth camp in Central Florida, he will have to complete vocational training and remain under supervision of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice until he is 21.

Psychological counseling, random drug testing, maintaining full-time employment or schooling is also an order, in addition to speaking to schools about the dangers of guns at least 12 times a year.

Outside the courtroom, Guzman-DeJesus and her attorney, high-profile Florida lobbyist Ron Book, took questions from reporters.

“Her goal is to try in the name of her daughter to help make certain that children understand what gun laws are there for, and that they’re not only to protect others, but to protect themselves,” Book said on behalf of Guzman-DeJesus.

At the end of the questioning, a reporter asked Guzman-DeJesus what it meant when she embraced Lowe in the courtroom.

“Justice was already done,” she said. “It just means that I forgive him.”


Image by Univision 23 Miami


Image by Univision 23 Miami

H/T Miami Herald

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