New Texts Surface From 'Suicide-by-Text' Teen

Judge dismisses plea to drop charges against Michelle Carter
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2015 8:48 AM CDT
In this Aug. 24, 2015, file photo, Michelle Carter listens to a defense attorney argue for an involuntary manslaughter charge against her to be dismissed in New Bedford, Mass.   (Peter Pereira/The New Bedford Standard Times via AP, Pool, File)
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(Newser) – It looks like Michelle Carter will be tried for allegedly encouraging her friend to commit suicide in a Massachusetts parking lot last July. A judge refused to dismiss involuntary manslaughter charges against Carter, 18, in a court ruling on Tuesday, though her lawyer says he'll appeal, reports the Sun Chronicle. Conrad Roy III, 18, was found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning in his pickup, which had a gasoline-powered water pump in the back seat. Judge Bettina Borders says phone records show Carter spoke to Roy for 45 minutes while he was believed to be in the truck with the pump running. A text from Carter to a friend indicated Roy got out of the truck at one point, but Carter told him to get back in. "The Grand Jury could find probable cause that her failure to act within the 45 minutes, as well as her instruction to the victim to get back into the truck ... caused the victim's death," Borders says, per the AP.

"Even if the defendant did not understand the consequences of her actions, a reasonable person would have realized that telling a person to get back into a truck filled with carbon monoxide would pose a grave risk of danger," she adds. A rep for the Bristol County DA's office praised the decision, noting "we can now focus our efforts on preparing for the upcoming trial." Prosecutors allege Carter pushed Roy to commit suicide so she'd get sympathy, but her attorney released new text messages hours after the judge's decision, noting she tried to dissuade Roy from taking his life throughout June 2014. "Let's get better and fight this together," reads one, per the Boston Herald. "I'm scared for you that you aren't gonna get better and you'll become suicidal again ... Promise me right now that you won't," reads another. A pretrial hearing is set for Nov. 30. (This case is similar to one from 1816.)

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