Judge weighs trial for teen accused of taping girl's suicide - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Judge weighs trial for teen accused of taping girl's suicide

(Scott Sommerdorf/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP, File). FILE - In this Aug. 23, 2017, file photo, defendant Tyerell Przybycien, of Spanish Fork, waits for the start of his preliminary hearing, in 4th District Court, Provo, Utah. A Utah judge was conside... (Scott Sommerdorf/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP, File). FILE - In this Aug. 23, 2017, file photo, defendant Tyerell Przybycien, of Spanish Fork, waits for the start of his preliminary hearing, in 4th District Court, Provo, Utah. A Utah judge was conside...
(Scott Sommerdorf/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP, File). FILE - In this Aug. 23, 2017, file photo, defendant Tyerell Przybycien, of Spanish Fork, looks on during his preliminary hearing, in 4th District Court, Provo, Utah. A Utah judge was considering We... (Scott Sommerdorf/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP, File). FILE - In this Aug. 23, 2017, file photo, defendant Tyerell Przybycien, of Spanish Fork, looks on during his preliminary hearing, in 4th District Court, Provo, Utah. A Utah judge was considering We...
(Scott Sommerdorf/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP, File). FILE - In this Aug. 23, 2017, file photo, defendant Tyerell Przybycien, of Spanish Fork, returns to court following a break during his preliminary hearing, in 4th District Court, Provo, Utah. A Uta... (Scott Sommerdorf/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP, File). FILE - In this Aug. 23, 2017, file photo, defendant Tyerell Przybycien, of Spanish Fork, returns to court following a break during his preliminary hearing, in 4th District Court, Provo, Utah. A Uta...
(Scott Sommerdorf/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP, File). FILE - In this Aug. 23, 2017, file photo, defendant Tyerell Przybycien, of Spanish Fork, returns to court following a break during his preliminary hearing, in 4th District Court, Provo, Utah. A Uta... (Scott Sommerdorf/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP, File). FILE - In this Aug. 23, 2017, file photo, defendant Tyerell Przybycien, of Spanish Fork, returns to court following a break during his preliminary hearing, in 4th District Court, Provo, Utah. A Uta...
By LINDSAY WHITEHURST
Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A Utah judge was considering Wednesday whether an 18-year-old accused of filming the suicide of a high school classmate should stand trial on murder charges after prosecutors said he bought a rope and helped the girl tie a noose before she hanged herself.

Both sides gave their final arguments Tuesday in what prosecutors said is the first case in Utah in which someone is accused of aiding and recording a suicide. Judge James Brady is expected to rule in the coming days.

Defendant Tyerell Przybycien isn't accused of wielding a murder weapon, but prosecutors argued that he's still responsible for the death of a troubled girl whom he pushed into taking her own life.

"He had a fascination with death," prosecutor Chad Grundander said. "He used her suicidal ideations for his own purposes."

Defense attorneys countered that 16-year-old Jchandra Brown made her own choice on May 6 in a canyon about 60 miles (96.56 kilometers) south of Salt Lake City.

Przybycien's role wasn't commendable, but it didn't amount to murder either, his lawyer Gregory Stewart said.

"While we don't have all the video tapes we might like, I think it's clear that ... she was directly involved in the actions that caused her death," he said, according to the Daily Herald in Provo.

The Associated Press does not typically identify juveniles in crime cases, but Brown's mother has said she wanted her daughter to be identified to prevent anything similar from happening again.

Prosecutors say Przybycien bought the rope, helped the girl tie a noose and recorded a 10-minute cellphone video of her with the rope tied around her neck before she inhaled compressed air from a canister and fell unconscious.

The case carries echoes of Michelle Carter, a Massachusetts woman who encouraged her suicidal boyfriend to kill himself in dozens of text messages when she was a teenager. She was convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

The legal difference between murder and involuntary manslaughter is the defendant's mental state, Daniel Medwed, a law professor at Northeastern University, told the AP.

Murder is intentional, while manslaughter generally involves more reckless behavior such as drunken driving.

Przybycien "kind of set the wheels in motion, but there's a problem with causation because she made the ultimate decision to take her own life," Medwed said.

Prosecutors say Przybycien laid out his intentions in Facebook messages, where he told a friend that helping Brown kill herself would be "like getting away with murder!"

However, defense attorneys contend that he asked Brown several times if she truly wanted to go through with the suicide, and they pointed to notes where she said she made the decision herself.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • NationalMore>>

  • APNewsBreak: Official: Call led to arrest of serial killer

    APNewsBreak: Official: Call led to arrest of serial killer

    Tuesday, October 17 2017 11:40 AM EDT2017-10-17 15:40:40 GMT
    Tuesday, October 17 2017 12:53 PM EDT2017-10-17 16:53:02 GMT
    A law enforcement official says a suspected serial killer was arrested in Louisiana last week after he called a sheriff's office and claimed responsibility for a string of shootings that killed three men and...More >>
    A law enforcement official says a suspected serial killer was arrested in Louisiana last week after he called a sheriff's office and claimed responsibility for a string of shootings that killed three men and wounded a fourth.More >>
  • Bergdahl guilty pleas leave room for drama at sentencing

    Bergdahl guilty pleas leave room for drama at sentencing

    Tuesday, October 17 2017 4:30 AM EDT2017-10-17 08:30:31 GMT
    Tuesday, October 17 2017 12:51 PM EDT2017-10-17 16:51:43 GMT

    At sentencing, the judge is expected to weigh factors including Bergdahl's willingness to accept responsibility by pleading guilty, his time in captivity of the Taliban and its allies and serious wounds to service members who searched for him.

    More >>

    At sentencing, the judge is expected to weigh factors including Bergdahl's willingness to accept responsibility by pleading guilty, his time in captivity of the Taliban and its allies and serious wounds to service members who searched for him.

    More >>
  • Houston-area "Tourniquet Killer" set to die

    Houston-area "Tourniquet Killer" set to die

    Tuesday, October 17 2017 12:00 PM EDT2017-10-17 16:00:34 GMT
    Tuesday, October 17 2017 12:51 PM EDT2017-10-17 16:51:40 GMT
    A convicted sex offender who became known as Houston's "Tourniquet Killer" because of the way he strangled his multiple victims is set for execution Wednesday.More >>
    A convicted sex offender who became known as Houston's "Tourniquet Killer" because of the way he strangled his multiple victims is set for execution Wednesday.More >>
Powered by Frankly