How do you tell a teenager to handle cyber-bullies?
That’s the message 27-year-old Donnell Flora sent to his 14-year-old niece when he provided her with a gun to confront another teen who had been harassing her back in April of 2014.
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Flora has been found guilty of first-degree murder after giving his niece a .38-caliber revolver, which prosecutors say she then carried to confront Endia Martin, who was also 14 at the time.
Flora’s niece went to a home where Martin and her friend Lanekia Reynolds were. When the two emerged from the house, Flora’s niece allegedly opened fire, ultimately killing Martin.
Her identity has been kept anonymous, but she is now 16 and has reportedly been charged as a juvenile and is still awaiting trial.
As for Flora, the court made their decision on Saturday after prosecutors argued that if it weren’t for Flora, there would never have been a gun involved in the altercation.
"He became her provider—the provider of a handgun," Assistant State's Attorney Barbara Bailey said in court of Flora, who uses a wheelchair after a 2010 shooting left him paralyzed, according to the Chicago Tribune.
How ironic, a man who is permanently paralyzed as a result of gun violence encouraged someone else to solve their problems with guns.
"When there were about 1,000 other options that could've been taken by an adult, he chose to continue the cycle," Bailey added.
Flora’s attorney, Joel Brodsky, cited Flora’s “intent” to protect his family as justification for his awful decision to put a gun into a teenage girl’s hands.
"These were not mere threats," Brodsky said. "They were, 'I'm going to kill you. I'm going to put you in the ground next to your dad.'"
Flora's "only intent was to protect his niece. It was not the brightest idea he ever had. But it doesn't change the fact that that was his intent," he added.
“Not the brightest idea” is an understatement; it was a terribly stupid idea and serves as yet another example of the need for more effective gun control measures to keep firearms away from idiots like Flora.
Not only is he responsible for a young girl’s death, but instead of “protecting” his niece — as his lawyer argued — he contributed to her demise.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Tatyana Makeyeva