Trial for woman charged in texting suicide case continues Monday

TAUNTON, MA (WHDH) - The trial for young woman charged with using text messages to encourage her boyfriend to kill himself when they were teenagers will continue Monday morning.

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Michelle Carter, then 17, of Plainville, cajoled Conrad Roy III, 18, to kill himself in July 2014 with a series of texts and phone calls, prosecutors allege. Roy died when his pickup truck filled with carbon monoxide in a store parking lot in Fairhaven.

In one message to Roy, Carter wrote: “Hang yourself, jump off a building, stab yourself idk there’s a lot of ways.”

Carter’s lawyer disputes a crime occurred. Attorney Joseph Cataldo said Roy was depressed, had attempted suicide before, researched suicide methods online and was completely responsible for his own death. He said Carter’s text messages are protected free speech.

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The defense started calling witnesses on Friday after Judge Lawrence Moniz denied Cataldo’s motion for a directed verdict of not guilty, a standard legal procedure. The prosecution has rested.

The case is being heard without a jury in juvenile court because of Carter’s age at the time of Roy’s death. She was charged as a juvenile offender, which could subject her to adult punishment if convicted.

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