On Tuesday, October 24 a Utah teen pleaded not guilty to murder in a case involving an alleged assisted suicide and filming of a teen girl’s death. Eighteen-year-old Tyerell Przybycien has been accused of helping and filming Jchandra Brown kill herself in early May 2017.
During an interview with authorities, Przybycien stated that he picked up 16-year-old Brown after work on May 5, 2017. He told authorities that they became closer friends after Brown confided in him that she had considered suicide. Court documents show that he also purchased the rope and industrial-strength air duster that Brown used to kill herself. He told police that after picking Brown up from work he drove her to an area in Payson Canyon, Utah, where he helped her tie the noose around her neck and filmed her death on his cell phone.
Court documents containing a chilling text message exchange from April 19, 2017 between Przybycien and another friend were released to BuzzFeed News. Przybycien reportedly texted his friend: “What you do if you knew a friend was trying to commit suicide?” The friend responded that he would try to “talk them out of it.” Przybycien replied, “The thing is…I wanna help kill them. It be awesome. Seriously im going to help her. Its like getting away with murder! I’m so f***** up. I’m seriously not joking. Its going down in about a week or two.”
At the scene of Brown’s death, police found a hand-written suicide note with instructions from Brown to “watch the video” on the cellphone, which was found along with the note inside two plastic grocery bags. The video shows the teenage girl standing on a rock, holding the can of industrial-strength air duster and a shirt, with the noose tied around her neck. Brown fell in a “twisting motion” after inhaling a large amount of the air duster. Przybycien continued to film for around ten minutes after Brown became unconscious, and could be heard asking her questions even though she was unresponsive. After checking Brown’s pulse and being unable to detect one, he left his phone and the scene. Her body was found by a turkey hunter the next day on May 6 and Przybycien was brought in for questioning shortly after.
Along with charges of first degree murder, Przybycien is also facing up to five counts of exploitation of a minor due to child pornography. Images of girls under the age of five were found on his cell phone during the police investigation of Brown’s death.
Fourth District Judge James Brady ruled on Tuesday that it was “reasonable to infer that but for [Przybycien’s] actions” leading up to Brown’s death, she would not have died on May 5 and that his conduct was a “substantial factor” in causing her death. Judge Brady wrote the following statement in his ruling, “Likewise, encouraging and helping to facilitate the suicide of an impressionable minor who could have benefited from support, counseling or therapy is completely lacking of social value.”