Guilty Verdict in Teen 'Suicide-by-Text' Case

Judge finds Michelle Carter guilty of involuntary manslaughter
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2017 10:45 AM CDT
In this June 12 photo, Michelle Carter stands as court is in recess at the end of the day at her trial in Taunton, Mass.   (Faith Ninivaggi/The Boston Herald via AP, Pool, File)

(Newser) – The woman who urged her boyfriend to kill himself when they were both teenagers is guilty of involuntary manslaughter. A juvenile court judge convicted Michelle Carter Friday in the death of 18-year-old Conrad Roy III, the AP reports. Carter, now 20, was 17 when she sent dozens of text messages encouraging Roy to go through with his suicide, including telling him to get back in his truck as it filled with carbon monoxide gas and he exited, frightened. The Massachusetts teen was ultimately found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning in the truck in a store parking lot in July 2014.

The judge ruled that Carter, who cried as he explained his reasoning for the verdict, can remain free on bail but can't leave the state or have any contact with Roy's family. Her sentence could range from probation to 20 years behind bars. During the trial, Carter's lawyers argued Roy was determined to kill himself and said Carter initially tried to talk him out of it and urged him to get help. They said she was "involuntarily intoxicated" by the antidepressant she was taking, "enmeshed in delusion" thinking she could help Roy find his way to heaven while she took care of his family. (Read more suicide stories.)

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