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Judge Finds Defendant Guilty; Manslaughter Law Extending to New Grounds?

20 June 2017

The verdict for Michelle Carter's involuntary manslaughter trial is in; the court judge finds the defendant guilty.

As prosecutors attempted to prove, Carter engaged in a sustained campaign to cause Roy's death, including repeatedly urging him to kill himself, and outlining exactly how he could do it.

The judge's decision surprised many legal experts, who had said that, despite the callousness of Carter's conduct, the case presented a stiff challenge to prosecutors because MA, unlike dozens of other states, has no law against encouraging suicide. The court did not revoke her bail as part of today's verdict. Carter had previously waived her right to a trial, and the verdict was given in a nonjury trial by MA judge Lawrence Moniz, who said Carter's actions were not just immoral but illegal, according to The New York Times.

The ACLU's legal director for MA says Roy's suicide is tragic, "but it is not a reason to stretch the boundaries of our criminal laws or abandon the protections of our constitution".

Moniz noted that when Roy climbed out of the truck, Carter, through a text message, told him to "get back in", according to testimony from someone Carter told the story to a month after Roy's death.

He said Carter had a duty to call someone for help when she knew Roy was attempting suicide.

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As previously reported, Carter was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for urging Conrad to commit suicide in 2014 via texts.

Attorneys for Carter presented evidence that showed she had helped stave off previous suicide attempts by Roy and highlighted mental and physical issues their client was dealing with in an attempt to make her a more sympathetic figure.

The judge allowed Carter to remain free on bail until her sentencing on August 3.

The night of his death, Carter encouraged him to get back inside the truck after he revealed he was scared and had gotten out.

Carter could be sentenced 20 years for involuntary manslaughter.

Carter broke down in tears and sobbed into a tissue when Judge Lawrence Moniz read out the verdict at a brief hearing in the court in Taunton, south of Boston in MA. "Even if somebody supports another individual in a suicide, it doesn't create a homicide", the defense added. Carter and Roy met in Florida in 2012 while both were on vacation with their families.

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Carter's defense lawyer Joseph P. Cataldo said he was "disappointed" in the verdict. "You're dealing with an individual who wanted to take his own life". Their relationship largely existed online, consisting of text and Facebook messages.

"You always say you're gonna do it, but you never do", Carter complained in one of the more than 1,000 texts the two teens shared.

Conray Roy, 18, of Mattapoisett, Mass., who killed himself on July 12, 2014, with coaching from his girlfriend Michelle Carter.

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.

A judge in MA has ruled that a 20-year-old woman was guilty of encouraging her boyfriend to commit suicide in 2014.

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