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Man charged in friend’s Utah suicide pleads not guilty

October 24, 2017

FILE - In this Aug. 23, 2017, file photo, defendant Tyerell Przybycien, of Spanish Fork, appears in 4th District Court, Provo, Utah. The Utah man accused of encouraging a high-school friend to hang herself and filming the act is pleading not guilty to a murder charge. (Scott Sommerdorf /The Salt Lake Tribune via AP, File)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah man accused of encouraging a high school friend to hang herself and filming the act has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge.

Court records show 18-year-old Tyerell Przybycien (pro-BISH-ian) entered the plea Tuesday.

Prosecutors say he was fascinated with death and told a friend that helping her would be “like getting away with murder.”

They say he Przybycien bought a rope and tied the noose for the 16-year-old girl who hanged herself in May.

Defense attorneys argue the 16-year-old girl left suicide notes showing she made the choice herself, and Przybycien’s role did not amount to murder.

A judge last week called the case unusual and said allegations Przybycien was deeply involved with the suicide were strong enough to warrant a murder charge.

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