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In this image provided Malia Pila, Nex Benedict poses outside the family’s home in Owasso, Okla., in December 2023. Police in Oklahoma are investigating the death of Benedict, a 16-year-old student who died a day after an altercation in a high school bathroom that may have been prompted by bullying over gender identity. Neither police nor school officials have said what led to the fight. But the family of Benedict says there had been harassment because the teen was nonbinary. (Sue Benedict via AP)

NEWS HEADLINES: Oklahoma DA Will Not File Charges In Case Of Nex Benedict After Death Ruled As Suicide – One America News Network

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In this image provided Malia Pila, Nex Benedict poses outside the family’s home in Owasso, Okla., in December 2023. Police in Oklahoma are investigating the death of Benedict, a 16-year-old student who died a day after an altercation in a high school bathroom that may have been prompted by bullying over gender identity. Neither police nor school officials have said what led to the fight. But the family of Benedict says there had been harassment because the teen was nonbinary. (Sue Benedict via AP)

OAN’s Brooke Mallory
6:09 PM – Thursday, March 21, 2024

On Thursday, the district attorney for Oklahoma said that he will not be pressing charges in the case of 16-year-old Nex Benedict, a non-binary Owasso teen whose death after a previous fight in a high school restroom was determined to be a suicide.

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Benedict was a biological female who identified as non-binary. When someone identifies as non-binary, it typically means that they do not identify as a female or a male. However, it can also mean that they are “gender fluid” and wish to identify as both female and male.

Many social media users online had falsely claimed that bodily injuries from the fight had ultimately led to the teen’s death. However, medical examiners determined that the teen’s death stemmed from a drug overdose.

After reviewing the Owasso Police Department’s investigation, Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said in a statement that he agreed with the detectives’ assessment that the fight between the teen and three girls was an “instance of mutual combat” and that no charges were necessary.

“When I review a report and make a decision to file a charge, I must be convinced—as is every prosecutor—that a crime was committed and that I have reasonable belief that a judge or jury would be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime was committed,” Kunzweiler said. “From all the evidence gathered, this fight was an instance of mutual combat.”

In addition, Kunzweiler indicated that Benedict had left a “suicide note” written by her, although Kunzweiler would not specify what was written. The teen had committed suicide by overdosing on drugs back in February, according to the state medical examiner.

“An important part of the Owasso Police Department’s investigation was the discovery of some brief notes, written by Benedict, which appeared to be related to the suicide,” Kunzweiler said. “The precise contents of the suicide note are a personal matter which the family will have to address within the privacy of their own lives.”

Jacob Biby, Benedict’s family lawyer, stated that he did not anticipate any comments from the family on the district attorney’s decision on Thursday. However, the family urged lawmakers, administrators, and schools to unite and advocate for policies that aim to eradicate bullying in a statement released last week.

“Reforms creating school environments that are built upon the pillars of respect, inclusion, and grace and aim to eliminate bullying and hate, are the types of change that all involved should be able to rally behind,” Bendict’s family said.

Nex Benedict previously admitted to starting the fight by pouring water on the girls, whom she claims had been bullying her and her friends.

“And so I went up there and I poured water on them, and then all three of them came at me,” Benedict told the officer from a hospital bed.

After doing CPR at the family’s residence, paramedics rushed Benedict to the hospital, where the teen eventually passed away.

According to a letter from the U.S. Department of Education earlier this month, federal officials have begun an investigation against the school system after Benedict’s family claimed that the teen had been harassed due to being nonbinary.

In a statement, Owasso Public Schools acknowledged that the district was informed of the investigation and referred to the claims as both baseless and unsubstantiated.

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