The trial started this week for Michelle Carter, a Massachusetts woman accused of urging her boyfriend to commit suicide as he sat in his truck filling it with carbon monoxide.
Carter was 17 when prosecutors say she sent text messages telling boyfriend Conrad Roy III to kill himself, one even telling him to get back into the carbon monoxide-filled truck when he had exited it, CNN reported.
Prosecutors have charged Carter with involuntary manslaughter in Roy’s death because of the text messages, which told Carter how to use carbon monoxide to end his life and repeatedly told him to do it.
The case could set a legal precedent if Carter is convicted; no law against assisted suicide or encouraging suicide exists in Massachusetts.
Carter, now 20, is being tried as a juvenile because she was a minor when the death occurred.
After Roy’s death, Carter posted grieving messages on social media and initiated a campaign to raise money for mental health awareness, ABC News reported. Prosecutors accused Carter of wanting attention for being the grieving girlfriend.
They also said Carter’s “constant pressure” to go through with the suicide even when Roy expressed reservations or didn’t follow through on his plans amounted to causing his death, CNN reported.
Carter’s lawyers will argue that evidence shows she repeatedly advised Roy to seek help for his depression and that he had made plans to take his own life months earlier, CNN reported.
Carter has waived her right to a jury trial, so a judge will decide the case.
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