Michelle Carter found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in texting suicide case

Michelle Carter, now 20, has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for sending a series of texts to her 18-year-old boyfriend, Conrad Roy, in 2014 urging him to kill himself, which he did by running a generator in his truck as he sat in a parking lot in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, about 60 miles (96 km) south of Boston.

The couple were 30 miles (48 km) apart at the time of Roy's death, a fact that defense attorneys emphasized during the week-long trial. The trial is the first time prosecutors in the state have sought such a stiff charge in a case based only on text messages.

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Michelle Carter charged with encouraging boyfriend to commit suicide
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Michelle Carter charged with encouraging boyfriend to commit suicide
TAUNTON, MA - JUNE 16: Michelle Carter arrives at Taunton District Court in Taunton, MA on Jun. 16, 2017 to hear the verdict in her trial. Carter is charged with involuntary manslaughter for encouraging 18-year-old Conrad Roy III to kill himself in July 2014. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
TAUNTON, MA - JUNE 16: Michelle Carter arrives at Taunton District Court in Taunton, MA on Jun. 16, 2017 to hear the verdict in her trial. Carter is charged with involuntary manslaughter for encouraging 18-year-old Conrad Roy III to kill himself in July 2014. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
TAUNTON, MA - JUNE 16: Michelle Carter arrives at Taunton District Court in Taunton, MA on Jun. 16, 2017 to hear the verdict in her trial. Carter is charged with involuntary manslaughter for encouraging 18-year-old Conrad Roy III to kill himself in July 2014. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
TAUNTON, MA - JUNE 13: Michelle Carter focuses on Judge Lawrence Moniz, after closing arguments were made during her trial in Bristol Juvenile Court in Taunton, MA on Jun. 13, 2017. Carter is charged with involuntary manslaughter for encouraging 18-year-old Conrad Roy III to kill himself in July 2014. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
TAUNTON, MA - JUNE 13: Conrad Roy, Jr., father of the deceased, comforts his daughter Camdyn Roy, sister of the deceased, as ADA Katie Rayburn makes her closing argument to Judge Lawrence Moniz during the trial of Michelle Carter in Bristol Juvenile Court in Taunton, MA on Jun. 13, 2017. Carter is charged with involuntary manslaughter for encouraging 18-year-old Conrad Roy III to kill himself in July 2014. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
TAUNTON, MA - JUNE 16: Michelle Carter arrives at Taunton District Court in Taunton, MA on Jun. 16, 2017 to hear the verdict in her trial. Carter is charged with involuntary manslaughter for encouraging 18-year-old Conrad Roy III to kill himself in July 2014. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
TAUNTON, MA - JUNE 13: As defense attorney Joe Cataldo makes his closing argument to Judge Lawrence Moniz during the trial of Michelle Carter, Lynn Roy, the deceased's mother, comforts one of her daughters in Bristol Juvenile Court in Taunton, MA on Jun. 13, 2017. Carter is charged with involuntary manslaughter for encouraging 18-year-old Conrad Roy III to kill himself in July 2014. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
TAUNTON, MA - JUNE 13: Judge Lawrence Moniz, left, listens as Dr. Peter Breggin explains that Michelle Carter wanted to help people to not commit suicide during Carter's trial in Bristol Juvenile Court in Taunton, MA on Jun. 13, 2017. Carter is charged with involuntary manslaughter for encouraging 18-year-old Conrad Roy III to kill himself in July 2014. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
TAUNTON, MA - JUNE 13: After a sidebar with Judge Lawrence Moniz, attorney Joe Cataldo, standing center, returns to the defense table with his client Michelle Carter, seated, before resting his case in Bristol Juvenile Court in Taunton, MA on Jun. 13, 2017. Carter is charged with involuntary manslaughter for encouraging 18-year-old Conrad Roy III to kill himself in July 2014. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
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Carter opted against a jury trial, leaving her fate in the hands of Bristol County Juvenile Court Judge Lawrence Moniz, who began considering his verdict on Tuesday.

During the trial, the judge heard extensive readings of text-message exchanges between Carter and Roy, both of whom struggled with emotional problems. Dozens of times, the messages urged Roy to kill himself, with one reading: "No more pushing it off. No more waiting," according to prosecutors.

Bristol County prosecutor Maryclare Flynn portrayed Carter as a manipulative person who enjoyed her control over the teen and hoped to win sympathy for herself among her high school friends as a result of Roy's death.

Defense attorney Joseph Cataldo portrayed Carter as equally emotionally vulnerable and not in full control of her actions because of prescription psychiatric medication that left her with the delusion that she could help Roy by urging his death.

They noted that Roy attempted suicide multiple times before succeeding in July 2014.

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