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

FAYETTE, 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.

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