A Utah teen has been sentenced to five years to life for helping his friend commit suicide and filming the act on his cell phone, CNN is reporting.
Prosecutors claimed that Tyerell Przybycien, who was 18 years old at the time (May 2017), bought a rope and tied it into a noose, then gave it to his friend, Jchandra Brown, so she could hang herself. He also purchased the compressed air Brown used to knock herself out before dying. Przybycien then recorded the young lady killing herself on his cell phone, providing audio commentary during the 10-minute video.
Even Przybycien’s defense attorneys admitted that the youth played a role in the young lady’s suicide, but they differed with prosecutors over the extent of that role.
Tyerell’s defense attorneys claimed that Brown’s decision to end her life was her own, and that his involvement was coincidental. Brown’s family, however, claimed that she would be alive had Tyerell not encouraged her and helped her. They even pointed to text messages the two had exchanged in which he talked about her killing herself.
Prosecutors initially charged Przybycien with first-degree murder. However, those charges were dropped when he took a plea deal, in which he admitted to child abuse homicide.
“What I did I’m not proud [of], and it doesn’t deserve pity.”
A 19-year-old man was sentenced to five years to life in prison Friday for helping a teenage girl hang herself and then filming the act.— Million Kids (@IEMillionKids) December 7, 2018
Tyerell Przybycien apologized to Jchandra Brown’s mother and said he hoped... https://t.co/2Qu2TtotLe
For Brown’s mother, that’s not good enough.
“I don’t want him out to cause pain and havoc on anyone else’s family, anyone else’s children. I cannot describe to you the pain of losing a child.”
On his sentencing, Przybycien was granted credit for time served behind bars, and he will also serve a five year concurrent sentence for an unrelated crime. The Utah legislature, for its part, credited this case with motivating them to pass a law making it a crime to assist another person in taking their life.
This case is eerily similar to that of a Massachusetts case. As CBS News reported in October, in 2014 a Massachusetts teen named Conrad Roy took his own life by poisoning himself in his truck with carbon monoxide from the vehicle’s exhaust. Though hundreds of miles away at the time, his friend, Michelle Carter, was implicated in his death because she had exchanged text messages with him, encouraging him to complete the deed and even talking him back into the truck when he expressed second thoughts.
“You keep pushing it off and say you’ll do it but u never do. It’s always gonna be that way if u don’t take action.”
Carter was later sentenced to two and a half years for involuntary manslaughter.