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Senate committee hears 'Kenny's Law', emotional testimony from supporters

Kenneth Suttner's aunt sits in the Senate Lounge Monday as 'Kenny's Law' was proposed in a senate committee hearing. Kenneth Suttner took his own life in December of 2016. (Megan Sanchez/KRCG 13)

Senate Bill 791 was heard for the first time in a committee hearing Monday. The bill being called 'Kenny's Law' by family and friends is named in honor of Kenneth Suttner, who died by suicide in December of 2016.

Kenneth Suttner was a teenager when he took his own life. Courts have debated whether or not bullying and harassment are to blame for his death, but that effort has been unsuccessful so far.

The transcript from the Howard County Coroner's Death Investigation contained several witness testimonies stating Suttner had been bullied repeatedly at school and at work.

Howard County Special Prosecuting Attorney April Wilson said the lack of language regarding involuntary manslaughter and bullying in Missouri made the case a difficult one to take on. She came to the Senate Lounge Monday to testify in favor of the bill that would make it illegal to knowingly encourage someone to commit suicide. Anyone who does this would be subject to charges of involuntary manslaughter in the second degree.

"This is really the call I had been waiting for," Wilson said. "When this case began, of course you never know what's going to happen in a case, but certainly when you start talking about preventing this from ever happening again that is what we are all working for."

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