A 20-year-old USA woman was convicted of involuntary manslaughter Friday for ordering her teenage boyfriend to follow through on his long-planned suicide and for failing to save him from harm.
Moniz, who deliberated for two days before reaching his verdict, said the case was not legally novel since a MA inmate was prosecuted in 1816 - but acquitted - for convincing a man facing the death sentence to hang himself in his cell before he was executed.
Although Cater was not present when Roy killed himself, her text messages and conversations with him proved damning. "You're just making it harder on yourself by pushing it off, you just have to do it". Roy's mother testified at Carter's trial that Roy seemed to improve after he began taking medication and getting counseling. Roy was sitting in his pickup in July 2014, filling his truck with carbon monoxide, trying to kill himself.
Telling him to get back into the truck constituted "wanton and reckless conduct," the court found.
They painted a picture of a desperately lonely individual who had an eating disorder and was on prescription drugs for anxiety and depression. She even told a pal she could have stopped the tragedy.
On Friday, Michelle Carter, 20, learned that her words were deadly. "She's thinking it's a good thing to help him die". The messages show that Carter repeatedly encouraged Roy to act on his urge to end his life.
Prosecutors argued that Carter contributed to Roy's death in the hopes of receiving positive attention from friends.
Roy and Carter met in 2011 and later struck up a romantic relationship - mostly online.Her attorney said they had met only a few times in person over the course of two years before Roy's death.
During his explanation of the verdict, Moniz cited a 2001 state case, Commonwealth v. Levesque.
"It was Conrad Roy's idea to take his own life; it was not Michelle's idea", Cataldo said. "The reckless failure to fulfill this duty can result in a charge of manslaughter".
A MA judge has found Michelle Carter guilty of involuntary manslaughter.
"She did not issue a simple additional instruction, 'Get out of the truck, '" he said.
"However he breaks that chain of self-causation by exiting the vehicle, he takes himself out of the toxic environment", Moniz said.
But Carter's defenders claimed she was innocent and that Roy's death was a suicide rather than a homicide. Carter was also on the phone with Roy for almost an hour while he was killing himself, and she urged him to get back in the vehicle when he hesitated.
The court heard more than 20,000 text messages exchanges were made - with more than 1,000 of those messages sent in the days leading up to Roy's death. Moniz further added that Carter knew the location of the suicide. Yet she did not call the police or Roy's family, he noted.