Katrina Goss walked into her 11-year-old son’s bedroom in April to find him hanging after he fell for a cruel social media prank his girlfriend set up.
Tysen Benz took his own life after his unnamed 13-year-old girl girlfriend tricked him into believing she committed suicide by sending him messages through texts and social media using another person’s account, as previously reported by Independent Journal Review.
The devastated mother said:
“She had pranked her own death. I don’t know what possessed her to do such a weird prank. It’s a twisted, sick joke.”
Tyler hanged himself within 40 minutes of reading the messages she posted to trick him, but she didn’t step in to stop him or tell him it was a joke. His mother explained:
“He even said he was going to kill himself and she didn’t make any attempt to call me or someone else to try to stop him.”
Goss wanted the people she felt were responsible for her son’s death to be prosecuted, which resulted in two misdemeanor charges for his girlfriend, malicious use of telecommunication services and using a computer to commit a crime.
The case continued to be reviewed by prosecutors to see if any additional charges would be filed against Tysen’s girlfriend.
Marquette County, Michigan, Prosecutor Matt Wiese said “Tysen was obviously upset by this,” as he announced the 13-year-old girl will not be facing criminal charges in his death, after deciding she was not responsible for the boy’s death, according to the New York Post.
“After reviewing all of the evidence, it did not appear that the [girl] intended the death of Tysen Benz.”
Goss was crushed by the decision, telling WLUC that his girlfriend got:
“4-6 months’ of probation for her two charges. The defendant received the very minimal punishment she could receive for her heinous and devious acts committed towards my son, Tysen Jade Benz.”
The mother said in a statement:
My son is dead and his family and close friends are left distraught and severely heartbroken. I am appalled at the lack of justice and consideration in this case. I feel that the Judge and the prosecutors did not want to deal with this case from the beginning due to the mass media coverage and exposure so all parties wanted to quickly put this case to an end and be done with it. I feel that due to the defendant’s age the court system was afraid to put forth harsher punishment for the girl due to public backlash. I feel that the court system failed my late son, Tysen Benz.
Goss is fighting to make changes in Michigan to prevent cyberbullying by creating a law to protect other children from following in Tysen’s footsteps. The mother is pushing to see age restrictions and enforcement for minors using all social media sites in honor of her son.