MANCHESTER, TN — (11-22-19) — No charges will be filed against a teenager in the suicide death of Bi Teen Channing Smith. The announcement came on Tuesday by well known anti-LGBT Coffee County district attorney Craig Northcott.
Northcott’s anti-LGBTQ record explains why he won’t bring criminal charges in the case of a bisexual teenager who died by suicide after being outed online.
Channing Smith, 16, had confided in several friends from his high school that he was bisexual, but two of them including one who had received a text message directly from Channing Smith, decided to share screen shots of his text messages on Instagram and Snapchat.
Bi Teen Channing Smith, 16, committed suicide on September 22, 2019
Members of Smith’s family wanted Coffee County District Attorney Craig Northcott to investigate and prosecute the teens from their son’s high school who shared the messages, but after discovering the anti-LGBTQ track record of Northcott, the family had doubts that any charges would be announced.
Northcott released a statement on Tuesday saying that he decided that there will be no criminal charges related to the death of Channing Smith.
“Upon the completion of the full investigation into the circumstances of Channing Smith’s death by the Coffee County Sheriff’s Department and this office and after a review of the criminal statutes of this state, I have determined that there is not probable cause to believe that any crimes have been committed in this tragic situation,” he said, according to The Tennessean of Nashville. “Thus no criminal charges or juvenile petitions will be sought by this office. The family remains in my prayers, and I hope that all of Channing’s friends and family can find peace in this difficult time.”
While this was disappointing for the Smith family, they are blaming the law first before blaming Northcott’s decision.
“Supposedly there’s not laws in place that affect minors, and harassment and bullying have to show a pattern,” Channing Smith’s brother Joshua Smith, told The Tennessean. “Hopefully we can get more modern laws in place. My main concern is it’s going to send a mixed message to these kids that they can do what they want and there’s not repercussions.” said Smith.
Joshua Smith and his father, David Smith, met with First Lady Melania Trump at the White House this week to discuss the issues of bullying on social media, as the first lady is a strong advocate against bullying online. President Trump was not available to meet with the Smith family, what a surprise.
Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer
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