Woman who urged friend to kill himself found guilty of manslaughter

Woman Who Urged Her Boyfriend to Kill Himself Found Guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter

Michelle Carter broke down in tears and hid her face with her hands in a packed courtroom, shortly before Judge Lawrence Moniz announced his verdict.

"In court Tuesday, Bristol County prosecutor Maryclare Flynn called them boyfriend and girlfriend, which seems belied by the fact that Roy and Carter ever only saw each other two or three times after they first met".

Matthew Segal, the head of the MA branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, criticized Bristol County Juvenile Court Judge Lawrence Moniz's decision, tweeting that Carter's conviction "expands MA criminal law and imperils free speech".

The prosecution asked for Carter's bail to be revoked, but Moniz allowed her to remain out on bail until her sentencing on August 3.

Carter and Roy, who had attempted suicide multiple times in the past, both struggled with psychiatric problems.

The judge noted that the 18-year-old Roy climbed out of the truck as it was filling with toxic gas and told Carter he was scared. At one point, he got out of his vehicle, but Carter told him in a text to "get back in the truck". You said you were gonna do it. "Every time he came up with an excuse not to do it, she kicked his feet out right from under him and told him why it didn't matter, why he still needed to die".

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"That was his lynchpin where he indicated that the behavior was wanton, he's inferring intentional, and as such he found her guilty", Segadelli said.

In another text, she said: "If you want it as bad as you say you do, it's time to do it today". She was "unable to form intent" after switching to a new prescription drug months before Roy's suicide, and even texted his phone for weeks after he died, the psychiatrist testified.

"She did not issue a simple additional instruction, 'Get out of the truck, '" he said.

Instead, the court upheld the indictment for involuntary manslaughter on "the basis of words alone" and that Carter was "virtually present" at Roy's suicide.

On the day of his death, Carter finally convinced Roy to follow through on the plan during a phone call telling him to return to his truck. She sent these messages prior to and during his suicide act, which he achieved by way of carbon monoxide poisoning in his vehicle.

CNN legal analyst Danny Cevallos said that the judge's verdict is concerning "because it reflects a judicial willingness to expand legal liability for another person's suicide, an act which by definition is a completely independent choice".

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