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Teen texting manslaughter verdict could face a legal challenge


Michelle Carter was convicted by a judge who said her final instruction to Conrad Roy III caused his death. He was 18 years old. And it essentially said that those words can lead someone to suicide.

Delivering his verdict in June, Moniz said that Carter's actions constituted "wanton and reckless conduct" when she instructed Roy to get back in his truck despite knowing that it was a toxic environment "inconsistent with human life".

Levenson, the Loyola professor, said that the judge's decision did not set a legal precedent because it does not bind other courts, but it sent a strong message that "there are new means of committing old crimes", and prosecutors will be more likely to look at those cases.

Carter, who was Roy's girlfriend at the time of his death, went on trial this year, and the prosecution argued that Carter, then 17, was reckless and caused his death by telling Roy to get back in the vehicle even though they say he didn't want to die.

Lawyer Joseph Cataldo "said Carter was struggling with mental health issues of her own - bulimia, anorexia and depression - during the time she urged Roy to kill himself", the wire service writes.

Some legal experts had questioned whether Carter's actions were enough to secure a conviction under involuntary manslaughter. "Part of me wants you to try something and fail just so you can go get help". Carter will be sentenced Thursday.

Carter's father, however, wished his daughter gets a far more lenient sentence in the case.


After meeting in 2012 while both were on family vacations in Florida, Carter and Roy started exchanging a string of text messages that went on for nearly two years. You said you were gonna do it. The American Civil Liberties Union of MA immediately decried the guilty verdict, saying at the time in a statement that the conviction "exceeds the limits of our criminal laws and violates free speech protections guaranteed by the MA and U.S. Constitutions". MA does not have an assisted suicide law.

"How could Michelle Carter behave so viciously and encourage my son to end his life?" he asked.

"After his death, she became the player", Flynn said.

Carter, who was 17 at the time of Roy's death, was charged as a youthful offender which means she is eligible for adult-level sentencing.

The two teens first met during a family vacation in 2012 and after that their relationship built around text messages.

"I don't know this judge at all, but it's like cutting the baby in half", Gertner said. In testimony, Roy's mother Lynn Roy said she was unaware that Roy was thinking about suicide, and believed his recent high school graduation, acceptance to Fitchburg State University and earning of his captain's license pointed to a bright future.

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