Woman goes on trial for allegedly urging boyfriend to kill himself

  • Woman goes on trial for allegedly urging boyfriend to kill himself

Woman goes on trial for allegedly urging boyfriend to kill himself

They say Michelle Carter, then 17, was desperate for attention when, through dozens of text messages and telephone calls, she repeatedly urged Conrad Roy, 18, to kill himself, prosecutor Maryclare Flynn said. Roy was found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning in his pickup truck in Fairhaven.

Prosecutors claim that Michelle Carter, now 20, exploited the boy's mental illness and pushed him into committing suicide via text message. According to the text messages presented at her trial in 2016, when Roy reportedly expressed hesitation about his suicidal ideation, Carter sent him text messages that included "You just need to do it" and "You're just making it harder on yourself by pushing it off, you just have to do it".

But defense lawyers argue the MA woman was struggling with her own mental health issues as a troubled 17-year-old under the influence of anti-depressants and that her messages, regardless of content, were protected free speech.

Mr Cataldo said: "It was Conrad Roy's idea to take his own life, it was not Michelle Carter's idea". These texts will be used as evidence in this trial. Legal experts told BuzzFeed that this is because a jury are more likely to take in the emotions of the trial, whereas a judge will follow the law. She also received text messages from Ms. Carter offering support after her brother's death, but no indication they had been in contact.

Mr Roy's mother, Lynn Roy, told the court on Tuesday she had no warning of her son's suicide. While inhaling the poisonous gas, he had a change of heart, and according to court documents, his girlfriend sent him texts demanding that he "get back in" and finish the job.

In the ruling, the court found that Carter's "virtual presence" at the time of the suicide and the "constant pressure" she had placed on Roy, who was in a delicate mental state, were enough proof for an involuntary manslaughter charge. Although assisted suicide through coercion is considered a crime in most states, MA is one of a few where it isn't. At the time of his death, Cataldo said Roy had not met-up with Carter in more than year.

According to the District Attorney's office, Roy drove that day to the Kmart parking lot, almost 40 miles from his home. They said that Roy and Carter both suffered from mental illness and that Carter is now undergoing counseling. The lawyers say that prosecutors are stretching the definition of involuntary manslaughter and that it was ultimately Roy who caused his own death.

Roy and Carter spoke to each other via text leading up to the suicide and spoke on the phone as Roy sat in the truck dying. He graduated from high school in 2014 and was making plans for the future, she said. Last summer, the court ruled that she could stand trial for her alleged role in Roy's death. Their relationship prospered over text message and through phone calls. She was planning to hold it in her hometown of Plainville.