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No charges will be filed in death of nonbinary teen Nex Benedict

The medical examiner ruled the death of the 16-year-old a suicide in a summary report that was released last week.
No charges will be filed in death of nonbinary teen Nex Benedict
Posted at 6:11 PM, Mar 21, 2024

No charges are going to be filed in the death of Nex Benedict, Tulsa County District Attorney Stephen Kunzweiler said Thursday. 

Benedict died on Feb. 8, and the medical examiner ruled their death a suicide in a summary report released already. The full report is being released on March 27.

Benedict died one day after a fight at Owasso High School in Oklahoma. There has been an outcry locally and nationally following their death. Vigils across the globe paid tribute to them.

The DA's office said in a release the fight started after two groups of students attending "in-school suspension" antagonized each other in the days leading up to the fight. Kunzweiler said none of the students reported this to a teacher or school administrator.

Witnesses said the fight in the bathroom lasted less than one minute after Nex poured water over two girls after comments were made about how Benedict laughed.

SEE MORE: Nonbinary Oklahoma teen involved in high school fight died by suicide

On Feb. 8, Owasso police were called to Benedict's home, where Sue Benedict reported Nex was suffering a medical emergency. Emergency crews performed life-saving measures on the teen. Benedict was then transported to the hospital and was pronounced dead. The Owasso medical examiner began investigating Benedict's death.

The ME determined Benedict's death to be a suicide caused by an overdose and drug toxicity. The ME's office reported injuries consistent with a fight were externally visible, but no internal injuries that would have caused death.

During the investigation, OPD discovered brief notes written by Benedict. The DA's statement said the notes appeared to be related to the suicide and did not reference the previous fight or difficulties at school.

Their parents did say Benedict talked about being picked on at school.

The DA said after going over investigations from both the fight and the suicide scene, there are no reasons for charges to be filed in Benedict's death.

The Department of Justice is still investigating Owasso Public Schools. The department said it opened an investigation into the alleged failed response to sex-based harassment by OPS.

Below is the full statement from Tulsa County District Attorney Stephen Kunzweiler.

This story was originally published by Scripps News Tulsa.

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