NEW: Legal experts had said the case could inspire similar felony prosecutions
The two girls were cleared of stalking allegations, their attorneys say
There was 'zero evidence', defense attorney Jose Baez says
Rebecca Sedwick, 12, jumped to her death in September
Two teenage girls accused of aggravated stalking in the case of a young Florida girl who jumped to her death no longer face criminal charges, lawyers said Wednesday.
Attorney Jose Baez, the attorney for the younger of the two girls, said the state had dropped the felony charge against her in the bullying case of Rebecca Sedwick, who was 12 when she committed suicide in September.
“We are very pleased that the state attorney’s office … has decided to do the right thing,” Baez said, adding that he was convinced that his client had never done anything criminal.
Baez said the girl was deeply affected by Sedwick’s death and had been bullied herself.
The girl, 13, has been in counseling, he said.
“There is zero evidence of any stalking in this case,” he said.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said he was “exceptionally pleased with the outcome of the case.”
“We see the children are going to get the services that they need,” Judd said, referring to counseling services. “That’s the best outcome for juveniles.”
Another girl, 14, also had her charges dropped.
“My client and her family are relieved by the state attorney’s decision today,” attorney Andrea DeMichael said. “She is hopeful about her future and is attempting to turn this tragic event into something positive.”
A member of the state attorney’s office said he could not comment on cases involving juveniles and referred CNN to defense lawyers.
Months of cyberabuse reportedly drove Rebecca to climb up the ladder of a pair of silos at an abandoned concrete plant in September. She had already cut open her wrists in December but survived that suicide attempt.
Legal experts had said the charges filed in the case could serve as a “tipping point,” inspiring similar felony charges against other suspected adolescent bullies.