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Attorney for Polk cyber-bully suspect speaks out

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Guadalupe Shaw Guadalupe Shaw
LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) -

A Polk County defense attorney says one of the girls charged in connection with a Lakeland girl's suicide, claims she's not at fault.

Polk County Sheriff's investigators arrested Guadalupe Shaw, 14, and Katelyn Roman, 12, on felony charges of aggravated stalking. Sheriff Grady Judd calls the two girls Rebecca Sedwick's "primary aggressors".

He said Sedwick, 12, decided to kill herself after she was subject to their constant bullying on Facebook and other social media outlets.

Related story: 10/15/2013: Polk Sheriff announces arrests

Shaw's attorney Andrea DeMichael said the accusations against her client are completely out of character.

"Her parents say this is just a rarity and she's a caretaker and she's very comforting and loving to other kids and the kids in the neighborhood," explained DeMichael.

DeMichael paints a very different picture of the 14 year old Shaw than Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd did earlier in the week.

DeMichael says, "She is a very quiet 14 year old. When she comes in and I've spoken to her, she's been very reserved. She tries to be strong for her family."

DeMichael says Shaw is still being held in juvenile custody and that this is her first encounter with law enforcement, "As you would imagine, this is very troubling for her. She's trying to hold up, but a 14 year old in her first ever experience with law enforcement and she's being locked up, she's not taking it too well."

Related: Facts and stats about bullying.

Judd said Shaw recently posted a Facebook update under the name Guadalupe Borgen, and admitted to bullying Rebecca, also adding that she didn't care that the 12-year-old died.

"It wasn't my client," said DeMichael. "She denies making that post. Her parents deny making the post. They actually say that at the time it was allegedly posted their daughter was asleep."

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd is scheduled to speak with parents at Crystal Lake Middle School tonight about bullying and online safety.

Don’t miss out on the day’s top Facebook conversations http://on.fb.me/18y81Cl

 
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