A Kasson man who was facing a manslaughter charge in the drug-related death of a Byron teenager pleaded guilty today to a lesser charge.  Pleading guilty to a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor was 20 year old Darrian Rice.Sentencing has been scheduled for next month in Dodge County Court.

A judge earlier dismissed the 2nd degree manslaughter charge that was filed against Rice last year, saying there was not enough evidence that his actions were the cause or contributing cause of Noah Graddy’s death last January.

The 15 year old Graddy was last seen alive January 22nd at Rice’s home in Kasson, where he had gone with friends to do drugs. Rice was accused of later ordering Graddy to leave. While the others were in another room at the house, Graddy apparently left to walk home. His body was found in March less than a mile from Rice’s home.

An autopsy found the cause of death was hypothermia and acute intoxication from the combined effects of multiple drugs.