Bartow, Florida - She plays the violin and cello. A terrorist? She's taken dance classes and performed in a tutu. A hardened criminal?
The mother of Kiera Wilmot wants people to know just how talented her daughter is, and how scared she is that one bad decision could ruin the 16-year-old's life.
Kiera is the Bartow bottle bomber. She's the girl who mixed household products in a small plastic bottle at Bartow High and blew the cap off. No one was harmed.
See also: Teen arrested for setting off explosive device at school
The family's attorney says Kiera was intending to bring the experiment to her science teacher last month, when other kids convinced her to try it outside before class.
She was cuffed and arrested.
"I consider this an innocent mishap that results in a traumatic experience for a young child" says Kiera's attorney Larry Hardaway.
Hardaway has been negotiating with the Polk State Attorney's Office and urging them to drop the felony explosive charges and he's encouraged by those talks.
See also: "Bottle bomb girl", Kiera Wilmot, receives support
On Thursday, a church-based protest group held a demonstration outside the court house and then met with State Attorney Jerry Hill. Their message: don't make curiosity a crime.
"When you have zero tolerance, without really understanding that children will be children, we make mountains out of molehills," said Clayton Cowart of the Poor & Minority Justice Association.
Thousands of people have also shown their support for Kiera by signing online petitions. And also in her corner is college science professor Roderic Brame.
Brame has known Kiera for years and tutored her in science. He describes her as a bright and curious girl and he's hoping this bottle blow-up doesn't blow her future.
"Maybe cooler heads will prevail-so that's my hope in all of this. Kids did all kinds of stuff like that when I was a kid," said Brame.
A spokesman for the State Attorney's Office tells 10 News they're trying to do what's best for Kiera and the intent is not to ruin her life.
Follow 10 News Reporter KathrynBursch on twitter @Kathryn Bursch
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