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Family of Del. girl who died after fight disputes autopsy

WILMINGTON, Del -- A spokeswoman for the family of a teenage girl who died after fight in a high school bathroom says they're not happy with the charges filed in the case, reports CBS News radio affiliate WDEL.

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Amy Joyner-Francis CBS News

One student has been charged with criminally negligent homicide and two other students were charged with third-degree criminal conspiracy for allegedly helping to plan the deadly April 21 attack on Amy Joyner-Francis.

"The family is feeling like there's not a lot of justice with these charges," said Sherry Dorsey Walker, a Wilmington City Councilwoman who's running for lieutenant governor and is acting as the family's spokeswoman.

Dorsey Walker said in an interview with WDEL that the family believes Joyner-Francis' autopsy was faulty, leading to weak charges. Officials concluded that Joyner-Francis died from a "cardiac incident" related to a pre-existing heart condition. She had an atrial septal defect, which is a hole in the heart, the autopsy found. Officials said the fight triggered the "cardiac incident."

"Amy had (the heart condition) since birth, and it really healed itself," Dorsey Walker said. "And so now we're going to blame her death on a heart condition when...it was the physical assault that led to her death--not her heart condition."

Dorsey Walker said the family has already spoken with four cardiologists who have disputed the medical examiner's findings. She the family will request a second, independent autopsy.

"Amy was killed in the bathroom by the young ladies...I don't believe those young ladies intended to kill Amy, and I'd like to make sure the family does not believe that, but it happened," Dorsey Walker said. "And so there's always consequences to behaviors that aren't positive."

Officials plan to ask a family court to have the suspect charged with criminally negligent homicide, who authorities say is the only one to have hit the 16-year-old girl during the assault, tried as an adult. She faces up to eight years in prison if convicted.

All three defendants are free on bail. The teen who is charged with negligent homicide is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.