Charges sought against 13-year-old Michigan girl after boy commits suicide

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MARQUETTE, MI (WLUC) Michigan’s Marquette County Prosecuting Attorney is waiting for authorization by a Juvenile Court judge for charges against a 13-year-old girl involved in a social media prank that led to an 11-year-old boy’s suicide.

On March 14th 11-year-old Tysen Benz attempted to take his own life after what some are calling a social media prank gone wrong. Tysen’s mother says he attempted suicide after being told a lie that a 13-year-old female friend had killed herself. Tysen died on April 4th from his injuries, and that girl has since been charged with malicious use of a telecommunication device and using a computer to commit a crime.

“I want to stress that the death of Tysen is not what we’re prosecuting here,” said Marquette County Prosecuting Attorney Matt Wiese. “It’s the use of the device to relay a false report of a death. The reason that we have decided to go forward, is because we wanted to get the message out there to the community and to parents to be more active and proactive in knowing where their children are going when they’re on social media platforms.”

Both charges are misdemeanors, with one carrying a sentence of one year in jail, and the other six months. Tysen’s mom feels the girl charged should receive the maximum penalties.

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