Michelle Carter text message

A MA woman is on trial this week in the 2014 death of her boyfriend, whom she allegedly encouraged to kill himself when she was 17 years old.

High school senior Michelle Carter faces involuntary manslaughter charges after allegedly encouraging friend Conrad Roy III to kill himself. The 18-year-old was found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning in his pickup truck in Fairhaven, Massachusetts.

Prosecutors say Carter sent text messages to Boardman saying, "I could have stopped him but I told him to get back in the auto".

Attorney Joseph Cataldo talks to his client, Michelle Carter, before meeting at a side bar at the beginning of the court session at Taunton Juvenile Court in Taunton, Massachusetts on June 5, 2017.

Prosecutors argue that these and other texts are overwhelming evidence that while Carter, now 20, played the role of a loving and distraught girlfriend, she had secretly urged Roy to kill himself.

But as police investigated, they found hundreds of text messages between Carter and Roy.

The case could set a legal precedent if Carter is convicted; no law against assisted suicide or encouraging suicide exists in MA.

"The state has got to show not just that there was encouragement, but that Ms. Carter killed this young man with her words, and that's a really significant obstacle for the prosecution", Matthew Segal, of the ACLU of MA, told The New York Times. "It was Conrad Roy's idea to take his own life". Ms Carter urged him to seek professional help and suffered from her own mental health frailties, he added.

"Conrad Roy even acknowledged that Michelle Carter doesn't have influence over him", he said.

Prosecutors said Roy and Carter, who was 17-years-old at the time, were in a relationship and that she sent him a number of text messages, supporting his plan to commit suicide.

However, her defence persisted that it Roy's death was a case of tragic suicide instead of homicide.

After Roy's death, Flynn argued, Carter gained the attention she craved by holding a fundraiser and becoming a self-appointed advocate against suicide.

At one point, Ms. Carter told him to "get back in" after he exited the truck, Ms. Flynn said at the trial in juvenile court in Taunton. Jury selection was set to begin Monday, but Carter opted for a bench trial, which means her fate will be decided by the judge and not by a jury. "All you have to do is turn the generator on and you will be free and happy", she reportedly wrote.

Carter, now 20, is being tried as a youthful offender because she was a minor when her alleged crime took place.

Now, almost three years later, Carter is on trial in a controversial case that experts say raises new and contentious questions: Can a person be charged and convicted in someone's death even if she was not with the victim when he died?

Lynn Roy said Carter reached out to her multiple times after her son's death but never mentioned anything about his suicide plans.

"The night time is when all the thoughts of Conrad come", she texted.

Flynn said that Carter even asked one of the Conrad's sisters if she could have some of his ashes after learning he had been cremated. The case will now be tried by the judge.

Summary: Today is the first day of trial for a woman accused of instructing her boyfriend on how to kill himself.

  • Joanne Flowers