ACLU: Carter conviction violates free speech protections
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 20, 2017,
Jun 20, 2017, 16:03
Speaking from the bench, Moniz said that he concluded Carter was guilty of involuntary manslaughter, in part, for ordering Roy back into the truck in what she knew was a toxic environment where it would take him 15 minutes to die - and failed to notify anyone as required under MA law.
The mother of an 18-year-old student who committed suicide after prodding from his girlfriend said the woman who urged him to take his life doesn't "have a conscience".
The judge presiding over the case reviewed extensive evidence, including thousands of text messages sent back-and-forth between the couple, and eventually ruled that Carter did little to stop Roy from putting himself in harm's way.
The verdict, handed down by a judge in a non-jury trial, was a rare legal finding that, essentially, a person's words alone can directly cause someone else's suicide.
"Miss Carter had reason to know that Mr. Roy had followed her instruction and placed himself in the toxic environment of that truck, " Moniz said.
Moniz said that Carter's "conduct caused the death of Mr. Roy". Carter was texting him and, despite Roy showing second thoughts and even leaving the vehicle at one point, she told him to get back in his truck.
Carter then took no action to help Roy either by calling police or his family despite knowing his plan and location, Mr Moniz said. "I heard him die", Carter texted to Olivia Mosolgo days after Roy's death, Mosolgo testified.
Carter, now 20, was freed on bail but ordered not to contact Roy's family or leave the state.
That's when Carter got Roy on the phone and told him to get back in.
The case is the first of its kind, but it's believed that Carter could face up to 20 years in prison.
Carter broke down crying in court, putting her head in her hands, before Judge Lawrence Moniz announced the verdict.
Moniz set sentencing for August 3.
Further to this, they accused Carter of being on the phone to Roy in the moments before his passing.
Roy's father, Conrad Roy Jr., said he is happy with the verdict but acknowledged: "This has been a very tough time for our family". Carter and Roy met in Florida in 2012 while both were on vacation with their families. In another exchange, Carter told Roy she would look like a "fool" if he didn't kill himself perhaps because she'd been telling people her boyfriend was suicidal.
"I still don't think ur gonna do this so you have to prove me wrong.".
The American Civil Liberties Union denounced the conviction, saying it "exceeds the limits of our criminal laws and violates free speech protections guaranteed by the MA and U.S. Constitutions".
The night before Roy was found, Carter texted "I thought you wanted to do this".
"There is no law in MA making it a crime to encourage someone, or even to persuade someone, to commit suicide", Segal added.