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Woman who encouraged boyfriend to kill himself faces 20 years in prison
04 August 2017, 12:28 | Colleen Roy
Woman Guilty of Coercing Boyfriend to Kill Himself by Text Could Get Light Sentence
In June, Carter, now 20-years-old was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the suicide death of Conrad Roy III.
"There's a substantial body of neuroscience that talks about the judgment of 17- and 18-year-olds, that suggests that whoever they are at this point is very different than who they are later on", Gertner said.
"Assisted suicide is someone who assisted, it's never just words".
Carter's "get back in" text was one of dozens of similar messages she sent Roy urging him not to back down. "Like I don't get why you aren't", Carter wrote in one of the text messages.
Carter went from offering "words of kindness and love" to aggressively encouraging Roy via text message to carry out longtime threats to commit suicide, Bristol Assistant District Attorney Katie Rayburn told the court. "It's always gonna be that way if you don't take action".
The prosecution had sought a sentence of between seven and 12 years, accusing Carter of waging "a deliberate, well-thought-out campaign" to cause Roy's death in a bid to seek attention and sympathy.
"I believe she should be kept far away from society", wrote Kim Bozzi, Roy's aunt, in a victim impact statement she shared earlier this week with the Herald and planned to read in court today.
"The implications of this conviction go far beyond the tragic circumstances of Mr. Roy's death", Matthew Segal, legal director at the ACLU of MA, said in a statement.
"How could Michelle Carter behave so viciously and encourage my son to end his life?"
The American Civil Liberties Union of MA issued a strong rebuke at the time, arguing the conviction violated free speech protections.
Prosecutors presented the case to a grand jury, which voted to indict Carter on a count of involuntary manslaughter.
Carter was indicted in 2015 and appealed, taking the case to the state's Supreme Court. "She admits in a subsequent text that she did nothing? she did not call the police or Mr. Roy's family", Moniz said in issuing the verdict.
In a letter written to Moniz last month and obtained by the Boston Herald, Carter's father David Carter wrote, "I pray to God you will take into consideration that Michelle was a troubled, vulnerable teenager in an extremely hard situation and made a tragic mistake". Joseph Cataldo, her defense lawyer, declined to provide a comment to BuzzFeed News before the sentencing.
In convicting Carter, the judge focused his ruling on Carter telling Roy to "get back in" after he climbed out of his truck as it was filling with carbon monoxide and told her he was afraid.
Roy and Carter met in 2011 and later struck up a romantic relationship - mostly online.
"I think she needs to be held responsible for her actions 'cause she knew exactly what she was doing and what she said", Roy told Erin Moriarty.
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