Mom of MI boy who died after prank: ‘Justice needs to be served’

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WOOD) — A Michigan mother who says her 11-year-old son committed suicide because of a prank wants the teen allegedly responsible to receive the maximum punishment.

Tysen Benz of Marquette died earlier this month from injuries he suffered from a March 14 suicide attempt, according to our Nexstar sister station, WJMN.

Katrina Gross said her son attempted suicide after being told a lie that a 13-year-old female friend had killed herself.

The 13-year-old girl is now charged with malicious use of a telecommunications device and using a computer to use a crime. Both are misdemeanor charges which could carry a punishment of up to 18 months in prison.

“I feel that he was manipulated and you know, so-called pranked and bullied into choosing a choice which he would’ve never done. He would’ve never done that. I just feel like she needs to take responsibility for her actions and justice needs to be served for Tysen,” Gross told NBC affiliate WPBN.

However, the Marquette County prosecutor stressed the chase was not aimed at Tysen’s death, but using a device to falsely report 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,” said prosecutor Matt Wiese.

The girl is being charged as a juvenile.

Loved ones have set up a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs of Tysen’s medical expenses. So far, donors have dedicated more than $43,000 toward the $100,000 goal.

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