A mother who lost her teen daughter to a murderer not only publicly forgave the killer, she even embraced him in court and has been assisting him with his plea deal that will keep the young man out of prison.
The mother, Martha Guzman-DeJesus, lost her 13-year-old daughter, Lourdes “Jina” Guzman-DeJesus, in a horrible misfortune in 2012. High school student 16-year-old Jordyn Howe, who was also only 13 at the time, brought what he thought was an unloaded pistol on the school bus he shared with Jina.
Jokingly, he pointed the gun, which belonged to his step-father, at Jina and pulled the trigger. Not knowing that the weapon had a bullet in the chamber, he hit Jina in the neck, killing her.
Jina’s mom took the extraordinary step of forgiving Jordyn, and the pair can be seen here in court sharing a hug. Martha’s testimony at the sentencing helped keep Jordyn out of jail, and she hopes this step will bring more attention to gun control and gun safety.
“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,” Martha said in court this week.
As part of the plea deal, Martha and her daughter’s murderer will even travel together and speak publicly about the horrifying incident. The teen faced at least two years in jail; Howe will spend one year instead in a youth camp, then tour with Martha and speak at Florida schools.
Explains the Inquisitr:
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.”
Said Martha of her reason to exercise forgiveness: “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.”
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