Health Care

Did girlfriend's texts push teen to take his own life?

Did girlfriend's texts push teen to take his own life?”

Mr. Roy was sitting in his pickup in the parking lot of a store in July, 2014, as the truck filled with carbon monoxide.

One classmate, Samantha Boardman, even said Carter texted her saying that she felt responsible for Roy's suicide because of her texts to him.

Carter's attorney, Joseph P. Cataldo, doesn't dispute that his client texted Roy - but he has said the messages were not criminal and certainly do not rise to the level of manslaughter.

During testimony Tuesday, Roy's mother, Lynn Roy, said her son overdosed on an over-the-counter pain prescription in 2012 and was hospitalized. She added that he always seemed to have an excuse to not do it and scolded him for not going through with it. "You said your mom saw a suicide thing on your computer and she didn't say anything".

Carter is charged with involuntary manslaughter and has asked a judge to rule on a case, rather than a jury of her peers.

Carter was 17 at the time of Roy's death.

"'Committing suicide makes you happy, ' right off of his computer", explained Cataldo.

Once he was gone, Carter told her friends that she was the reason behind Roy's death and mourned it. Their relationship appeared based on phone calls and text messages. Carter was arrested on the charges of manslaughter in the 2014 suicide case that put Roy to kill him to prove in front of his girlfriend.

Carter was given the choice to have a jury trial, but she waived that right, which gives a judge the ability to decide on her fate.

The police investigation after Roy's suicide concluded that Carter had "strongly influenced" his decision to take his own life using carbon monoxide.

"Ultimately it was Conrad Roy alone in the auto who killed himself, while she was miles away with her phone", Daniel Medwed, a professor of law and criminal justice at Northeastern University School of Law said.

Olivia Masalgo, who played softball with Carter, once sent a text complimenting her friend for being amusing.

"We conclude that there was probable cause to show that the coercive quality of the defendant's verbal conduct overwhelmed whatever willpower the eighteen year old victim had to cope with his depression, and that but for the defendant's admonishments, pressure, and instructions, the victim would not have gotten back into the truck and poisoned himself to death", the court wrote. The allege that she only began to support the plan when it became clear that he would not change his mind, and have also argued that her messages were "free speech".

Carter, who never called authorities or Roy's parents as he died, wanted the sympathy and attention that came with being the "grieving girlfriend", Flynn said. For instance, an ongoing case regarding the suicide of an 18-year-old in MA has raised a series of new questions about the implications of assisting someone to commit suicide through text messages.

Carter, Flynn said, helped Roy plan his death and keep it secret, encouraged him to follow through with it and then badgered him when he had second thoughts. "This was a suicide, a sad and tragic suicide, but not a homicide", he said.

Under cross-examination, she acknowledged there was tension between her son and his father.



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