Crime

Bullying drove him to take his life. Now his former Dairy Queen manager is blamed for the death.

After being bullied for years, 17-year-old Kenneth Suttner committed suicide in December in mid-Missouri. A Howard County coroner’s jury ruled this week that the teen’s suicide was caused by involuntary manslaughter.
After being bullied for years, 17-year-old Kenneth Suttner committed suicide in December in mid-Missouri. A Howard County coroner’s jury ruled this week that the teen’s suicide was caused by involuntary manslaughter.

A manager at a Dairy Queen in Fayette, Mo., was arrested on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter after a coroner’s inquest ruled a teen’s suicide was the result of harassment he suffered at work and at school.

According to the Columbia Tribune, Harley Branham was arrested after a Howard County coroner’s jury ruled Tuesday that 17-year-old Kenneth Suttner’s December suicide was caused by involuntary manslaughter.

Coroner inquests are public hearings in which the jury hears testimony and reviews evidence before making a recommendation to the prosecutor on what it believes to be the underlying cause of death and whether criminal charges should be filed.

The six-person jury — five men and a woman — deliberated for about an hour before reaching a decision.

The principal blame was placed on Branham, the teen’s former manager at Dairy Queen.

The Tribune reported that Suttner was a junior at Glasgow High School. He shot himself in the head in the early morning of Dec. 21 outside his family’s home in Howard County. Many people testified he had been bullied for years.

Howard County is in mid-Missouri, west of Columbia.

Toriano Porter: 816-234-4779, @torianoporter

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