Teen accused of helping friend commit suicide could face trial for murder
PROVO, Utah (KSTU) -- A judge will decide if a Spanish Fork man will face trial on a murder charge in the suicide of a 16-year-old girl.
Utah County prosecutors argue that Tyerell Przybycien's actions led Jchandra Brown to kill herself, and he should be tried for first-degree felony murder and a class B misdemeanor charge of failure to report a body. His defense lawyers argued that Brown was responsible for her own actions.
Przybycien, 18, sat next to his lawyers, looking straight ahead as arguments were made here on Tuesday.
Deputy Utah County Attorney Chad Grunander argued that Przybycien bought the rope, tied the noose and picked the tree. He also took video of the girl's suicide. Her body was found the next day by hunters in Payson Canyon.
Utah has no assisted suicide law, and prosecutors argued Przybycien's actions merited a murder charge. Grunander argued that Przybycien wanted to see someone die.
"He used her suicidal ideations for his own purpose," Grunander told the judge. "The defendant bragged about getting away with murder."
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However, Przybycien's attorneys argued that this did not rise to the level of murder. He said she was not forced to take her own life.
"She was directly involved in the actions that caused her death," said Gregory Stewart.
As arguments were made, members of Brown's family cried in court. Outside, her mother told FOX 13: "Friends don't let friends die. So Tyerell was not a friend."
Fourth District Court Judge James Brady did not immediately issue a ruling on whether Przybycien should stand trial on the murder charge. A decision could be issued by the end of the week.
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, help is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-273-TALK. Utahns can also visit Hope4Utah and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center for additional resources. You can also download the SafeUT app for instant, confidential crisis services.