Amanda Guthrie was responsible for the death of her 14-year-old daughter Ayva. It was her gun the two were carrying at their Jacksonville home on Jan. 19, 2021, when it fired and hit the teen in the head. Guthrie and her defense team say it was a terrible accident and the bullet ricocheted off the floor. Prosecutors say it involved aggravated manslaughter of a child by a negligent, marijuana-smoking parent.
Jurors on Friday deliberated for 10½ hours and settled on a lesser charge against the 36-year-old mother, court documents show.
Instead of the charges of manslaughter and two more for shooting deadly missiles and possession of more than 20 grams of cannabis while armed, she was convicted of neglect through culpable negligence, according to Times-Union news affiliate First Coast News. A sentencing date is set for September 21.
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Jurors had heard the crying mother’s emotional 911 call: “My daughter and I just showed our gun. We were just playing and suddenly it went off. There was one, I think there was an extra bullet in it.”
In the arrest report, Guthrie told detectives that she picked Ayva up from school and that the teen then followed her into her room, grabbed the gun from the TV and started playing with it. Guthrie said she didn’t ask for it back, but Ayva gave it to her willingly. She said she pulled the trigger and was surprised when it fired.
A forensic pathologist hired by the family said the upward angle of the bullet’s trajectory and damage to the textured surface of the bullet suggest the gun was aimed at the concrete floor, resulting in a ricochet.
Jurors were also shown an interview between a detective and Guthrie at the sheriff’s office after the shooting, where she was asked to reenact what happened.
“I was rolling here,” she said, interrupted by the detective to confirm that she was “rolling a joint.” She said, “That’s what I was focused on,” while Ayva was playing with the gun.
“I feel like the moment I made a really stupid decision,” Guthrie said. ‘I’m really stupid. I don’t know how to explain it.”
Guthrie chose not to testify in court.
This article originally appeared in the Florida Times-Union: Jacksonville mother guilty of negligence in teen accidental shooting