News

Involuntary manslaughter charge dropped against woman accused of bullying Kenneth Suttner

Involuntary manslaughter charge dropped against woman accused of bullying Kenneth Suttner

HOWARD COUNTY, Mo. - Involuntary manslaughter charges have been dropped against a former Dairy Queen manager who was accused of bullying a teenager. 

ABC17 crews were in court on Wednesday morning where Harley Branham had a preliminary hearing.

ABC17 previously reported that Branham was accused of harassing Kenneth Suttner when he worked at Dairy Queen, which prosecutors said eventually led to his suicide.

Branham is still charged with aggravated stalking, harassment and assault.

In court, Branham waived her preliminary hearing and will be arraigned March 7.

April Wilson, the special prosecutor leading the case, said the jury at the coroner's inquest last January found probable cause for involuntary manslaughter based on the information they were given at the time.

Wilson said new information, that her team has been gathering since the coroner's inquest, ultimately led to her decision of dropping the two charges. She wouldn't say what that information was.

Wilson and her team were not the only people conducting extensive research after the inquest, according to Howard County Coroner Frank Flaspohler.

Flaspohler said he also conducted more research, but looked more into bullying policies in schools, legislation and in other countries. He said he found that most schools had anti-bullying policies, but didn't necessarily enforce them.

Flaspohler said he wrote a letter to local legislators with the information he found, and asked them to pass legislation called "Kenny's Law" that would measure the amount of bullying happening in schools and then use those findings to prevent bullying.


comments powered by Disqus

ABC 17 News Stormtrack

  • Continuing to track storm chances this afternoon

Recommended Stories

Top Videos