Text messages released by the Bristol County District Attorney's Office showed a then 17-year-old Carter coaxing Roy to end his life, quoting her as telling him he would be "free" and "happy" once he was dead. Carter was also banned from contacting Roy's family, and was instructed to not apply for - or obtain - a passport ahead of her sentencing hearing.
Prompting rebuke by the American Civil Liberties Union, a MA judge handed an involuntary-manslaughter conviction Friday to the girlfriend of a teen who killed himself after she urged him to do so via text message.
In a phone interview Friday, Gutterman said if someone were to send "a whole bunch of insensitive or aggressive texts ... and some harm occurs, [that person] still might be responsible", even if the author of the texts didn't physically cause the harm.
Roy was apparently having second thoughts about his suicide attempt, but Carter told him to get back into the vehicle, berating him.
During the trial, the judge heard extensive readings of text-message exchanges between Carter and Roy, both of whom struggled with emotional problems. Her sentencing is set for August 3 and she could face up to 20 years in prison.
"I was talking on the phone with him when he killed himself". For about a month, she tried to convince him to get help, and he only insisted that he wished to die.
YouTube/CBS Evening NewsThe court finds Michelle Carter guilty of involuntary manslaughter.
The verdict, handed down by a judge in a non-jury trial, was a rare legal finding that, essentially, a person's words alone can directly cause someone else's suicide.
Involuntary manslaughter in MA amounts to causing a death by behavior with a likelihood of causing harm. You're just making it harder on yourself by pushing it off.
The night of his death, Carter encouraged him to get back inside the truck after he revealed he was scared and had gotten out.
Earlier in the trial, a psychiatrist testified Carter was delusional after becoming "involuntarily intoxicated" by antidepressants.
Carter's attorney, Joseph Cataldo argued Roy was simply forcing Carter to be part of his second attempt.
According to CNN, Carter's guilty conviction could set a legal precedent in MA on whether or not it is a crime to tell someone to commit suicide.