The teen charged in the fatal shooting of a girl on a Homestead school bus will spend a year in a residential juvenile program after accepting a plea deal Tuesday.
Jordyn Howe, 16, will begin his sentence at the facility in Avon Park in about 30 days, once there's room. A judge has also ordered him to perform extensive community service, including going to schools and talking about gun violence. He'll also be under the court's jurisdiction until he turns 21.
During the plea hearing Tuesday, Howe and the mother of 13-year-old Lourdes Jina Guzman-DeJesus hugged and cried together. Ady DeJesus said she forgave Jordyn for what happened.
“I’m just happy he understands what he did,” Ady said.
The hug even caught Judge Ellen Venzer off guard. “I could never have imagined the victim’s mother embrace her child’s killer,” Judge Venzer said.
Howe had been charged with manslaughter with a deadly weapon, carrying a concealed firearm and unlawful possession of a firearm by a minor in the November 2012 shooting that killed Guzman-DeJesus.
Police said the teens were on their way to school on the private bus when the boy took the firearm out of his backpack and displayed it. The gun went off, hitting Guzman-DeJesus as the bus was in the area of Southwest 296th Street and Southwest 137th Avenue.
Guzman-DeJesus, a student at Palm Glades Preparatory Academy, was taken to Miami Children's Hospital, where she later died.
When asked by Judge Venzer if there’s anything he wanted to say to Miss DeJesus, Jordyn replied, “That I’m sorry for her loss and I apologize for doing what I did.”