A mother in Mississippi is asking for $11,000 from a podcaster and blogger she sued in federal court over allegedly slanderous statements regarding the death of her son.

Rae Andreacchio, a Mississippi mental health services provider, sued Karen Yax, the Michigan-based creator behind the Critical Kay podcast, for alleging that Rae had something to do with the death of her son, Christian. 

Christian, died of a gunshot wound to the head in his Meridian, Miss., apartment in February 2014. He was 21 years old. Authorities ruled the death a suicide, but the gun he supposedly used to shoot himself did not have his fingerprints on it. In fact, the gun appeared to have been wiped clean. There was a void in blood spatter implying that something — or somebody — was standing in the way at the time Christian was shot. 

The Andreacchio family pushed for justice for Christian, but the case didn’t gain national attention until it was the subject of an episode of the Culpable podcast in 2019. With the national attention also came scrutiny, and Karen Yax quickly advanced as the most outspoken and far-reaching critic of the Andreacchio family. 

Rae Andreacchio withstood scrutiny and questions from outsiders as she sought justice for Christian,  but she felt that Yax crossed the line when she reportedly accused Rae of supplying alcohol to minors and insinuated Rae was responsible for not only Christian’s suicide but also the suicide death of one of her patients.

There was just one problem — Yax was never able to confirm that Rae had treated the alleged patient. 

Here’s an excerpt from the federal complaint against Yax. Dylan Swearingen is not a party to the case, but is one of the friends who found Christian’s body in his apartment. Matthew Miller is a Mississippi resident, according to the complaint, but how he relates to the case was not specified. The defendant in the following screenshot is Yax. 

In this exchange, Yax appears to imply that Rae Andreacchio was involved in the death of Hayes Mitchell despite the fact that both Miller and Swearingen had just informed her that they cannot confirm the circumstances of Mitchell’s alleged mental health treatment. 

For her part in the suit, Yax essentially refused to participate in hearings over an almost two-year period, and a federal judge issued a default judgment against her in April of this year. Andreacchio is asking for $11,000 in damages so she can pay her attorney, and a hearing to determine the amount of damages she will receive was held at the end of May. The court has yet to issue a final ruling on the amount of money Yax will owe Andreacchio. 

Contact Beth Braden

Beth Braden

Beth Braden is an award-winning journalist with experience covering government, education and crime and courts for more than 10 years. In addition to following breaking news and writing feature stories about life in her home state of Tennessee, her by-line appears on several internationally known websites.

Beth is passionate about communicating complex information in an easy-to-understand manner and she loves to pore over public records and court documents as she seeks out patterns and context to share with her audience. In her spare time, she enjoys quilting, strange museums, and good cups of coffee.

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