Manslaughter charge filed in death of Byron teen

MANTORVILLE, Minn. – A Dodge County teen has been charged in connection with the death of another teenager.

19-year-old Darrian James Rice of Kasson is facing counts of 2nd degree manslaughter and contributing to the delinquency of a minor for his alleged role in the death of 15-year-old Noah Graddy of Byron.

Graddy was reported missing by his family on January 23rd, 2014.  His body was found March 20th near railroad tracks east of Kasson.  According to the criminal complaint, Graddy ran away from home on January 19th.   Two days later, Graddy and two other minors allegedly drove to Rochester and purchased methamphetamine.  Authorities say the three then went to the home of Darrian Rice and all four spent the night getting high.

In the early morning hours of January 22nd, Rice allegedly told Graddy to leave his home because he was acting strange and being loud.  Rice was apparently afraid Graddy would wake up Rice’s grandmother, who was sleeping in a nearby room.   Court documents say Graddy left the residence, leaving behind a note that said “thanks for using me until all my money was gone.”

When Graddy reportedly left Rice’s home on foot, the temperature was between 9 below and 20 below zero.  That was the last time Noah Graddy was seen alive.  According to the autopsy, Graddy died of acute intoxication due to the combined effects of 4 different drugs and hypothermia due to environmental exposure.

If convicted, Rice faces up to 20 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine on the manslaughter charge and up to one year behind bars and/or a $3,000 fine for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

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