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Coroner’s jury leads to charge in teen’s suicide

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haley-branham-dairy-queenFAYETTE, Mo. (AP) _ A Missouri prosecutor has filed a second-degree involuntary manslaughter charge against a Dairy Queen manager accused of bullying a 17-year-old employee who killed himself.

A special prosecutor filed the charge Wednesday against 21-year-old Harley Branham, who testified she never bullied the boy before his December death in Howard County. Other witnesses said the boy was bullied for years at school and at work.

The charge was recommended by a jury assembled in a rare investigation requested by the local coroner. The process is similar to a grand jury investigation but public.

Jurors heard hours of testimony from 20 witnesses before recommending the charge Tuesday. Jurors also concluded that negligence from the Fayette store and the Glasgow School District contributed to the death.

The local coroner says he sought the inquest because he thought it important to publicly acknowledge that bullying was a problem.

A rare investigation requested by a Missouri coroner has resulted in prosecutors being asked to file manslaughter charges against a Dairy Queen manager accused of bullying of a 17-year-old employee who later killed himself.

The Howard County coroner sought an official inquest into the teenager’s December death. The process is similar to a grand jury investigation but public.

The manager testified she never bullied or humiliated the teen, and he never seemed bothered by jokes. Other witnesses testifid the boy had been bullied for years at school and at work before he shot himself outside his family’s home.

Jurors concluded Tuesday that negligence from the Fayette store and the Glasgow School District contributed to the death and recommended the charge.

The case’s special prosecutor says she’s considering the case.