Grieving Mom Forgives Her Daughter's Killer, Helps Him Get Lighter Sentence

Ady Guzman-DeJesus Forgives Daughter's Killer, Helps Him Get a Lighter Sentence
Ady Guzman-DeJesus and Jordyn Howe
Miami Herald/MCT/Landov

06/12/2014 05:45PM

Two years ago, Ady Guzman-DeJesus suffered an unimaginable loss.

Her daughter Lourdes, 13, died after a classmate accidentally shot her while showing off his stepfather's gun on their school bus.

Instead of holding onto her anger, she not only forgave her daughter's killer, she pushed for a lighter sentence for him, which resulted in a plea deal he accepted in a Florida courtroom on Tuesday.

"I'm just sorry for her loss and I apologize for doing what I did," the defendant, Jordyn Howe, 16, told the judge, according to The Miami Herald, as Guzman-DeJesus hugged him.

Howe will serve one year in a juvenile detention facility – instead of the harsher punishment the judge wanted – while also touring the state with Guzman-DeJesus, talking to students about the dangers of guns.

The judge was equally moved by Guzman-DeJesus' extraordinary gesture of forgiveness.

"In 20 years, I've watched human tragedy unfold in this courtroom,” Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Ellen Sue Venzer said. "I could have never imagined a victim’s mother embracing her child’s killer."

Guzman-DeJesus told reporters that she believes this is what her daughter would have wanted her to do.

"Justice is already done," Guzman-DeJesus said. "I really do forgive him."

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