*We’ve all heard how its better to forgive. Sometimes it sounds like such a cliche. Its so hard to do, but so easy to ask.
We may be able to forgive a co-worker for spreading lies about us in the office. Or even a family member who wouldn’t lend us money when we really needed it. It’s not that hard, to even forgive the neighbor who called the cops on you because you didn’t turn the music down in a timely manner.
But to forgive someone after taking the life of your child? Seems impossible. But one mother did just that. And sealed it with a hug.
But it didn’t stop there. Her act of overwhelming compassion for the young man who killed her daughter was taken a step further. She asked the court to reconsider the punishment; making another plea instead.
And they went for it.
Jordyn Howe, 16, pleaded guilty in court Tuesday for the 2012 shooting death of his friend, Lourdes “Jina” Guzman-DeJesus, 13.
In an act that can only be guessed at as a teen’s misjudgment in his naive quest to do a “show and tell” for his classmates, Howe brought his stepfather’s gun on the school bus, and fired it once at the ground.
When nothing happened he pointed it at “Jina” and pulled the trigger. This time the gun fired, killing her.
Ady DeJesus, the girl’s mother, spoke about her daughter’s death in court.
“It’s such a painful experience,” she said, still visibly shaken. “Two parents should never … I can’t,” she said, unable to go on.
Howe confessed immediately to the crime, and plead guilty to three charges — including manslaughter with a deadly weapon.
“I’m just sorry for her loss and I apologize for doing what I did,” he said.
The teen originally faced up to 22 months in prison, before DeJesus had a change of heart and, after meeting with the teen and the judge, she presented a different plea to the court.
Instead of prison, she asked that the court place Howe in a juvenile detention facility for a year.
But that’s not all.
She also wants him to join her as she travels around Florida, speaking to others about the dangers of guns.
If he doesn’t follow through, back to court he goes.
Judge Ellen Venzer advised the young man not to take this opportunity lightly.
“I hope and pray that you do not squander this opportunity that you’ve been given,” she said.
DeJesus says that the ruling has helped bring her peace.
“I forgive him because I’ve found peace because I feel like my daughter now is in peace,” she said. “It won’t bring my daughter back, but at least it will keep her name alive.”