BOSTON (WHDH) - A former Boston College student who for months allegedly “physically, verbally and psychologically” abused her boyfriend before he jumped to his death in May — just hours before he was slated to receive his diploma — appeared before a judge on Friday.
Inyoung You, 21, returned from South Korea for her arraignment in Suffolk Superior Court, where she pleaded not guilty to an involuntary manslaughter charge in connection with the texting-suicide death of 22-year-old Alexander Urtula, a biology major from Cedar Grove, New Jersey.
She was released on $5,000 cash bail on the condition that she remain in Massachusetts, surrender her passport, and check in with probation every two weeks. You is due back in court on Jan. 21.
An indictment unsealed in October alleges her non-stop abuse resulted in “overwhelming” Urtula’s will to live.
Urtula, who allegedly suffered through “unending abuse” over the course of an 18-month-long relationship with You, jumped from the roof of the Renaissance parking garage in Roxbury around 8:30 a.m. on May 20, according to Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins. His family was in town from New Jersey to watch him walk in the Boston College graduation ceremony that began that same day at 10 a.m.
In the two months prior to his death, the couple exchanged more than 75,000 texts, of which You sent more than 47,000, Rollins said an analysis of his cellphone revealed.
Her texts reportedly included repeated admonitions for Urtula to “go kill himself” to “go die” and that she, his family, and the world would be better off without him.
Rollins said many of the messages “clearly display the power dynamic of the relationship, wherein You made demands and threats with the understanding that she had “complete and total control over” Urtula.
The abuse became “more frequent, more powerful and more demeaning” in the days and hours leading up to Urtula’s death, according to Rollins.
You allegedly used manipulative threats of self-harm to control Urtula in an attempt to isolate him from friends and family, in addition to tracking her boyfriend’s location. She was reportedly present at the garage at the time of the suicide.
She was also aware of Urtula’s “spiraling depression” yet she still allegedly “persisted in encouraging him to take his own life.”
In a statement on Thursday, a spokesperson for the Urtula family said, “Since losing Alexander in May, the Urtula family and everyone who loved Alex has been devastated by his loss. Not a minute of any day goes by without those who loved Alex grieving and continually feeling the sharp pain of his passing all over again.”:
The statement continued, “Alex’s family respects the process underway in Massachusetts and, because it is ongoing and because the pain of their loss is still so fresh for those who loved him, the family will not be making any further public comments at this time.”
Rollins released a statement reading in part, “We will honor Alexander and his legacy by holding the defendant accountable for her relentless, reckless, abusive and criminal behavior. This process will be long and difficult, but we will be there with the Urtula family each step of the way, remembering the best parts of Alexander.”
You studied economics at the college before withdrawing from classes in August. She was scheduled to graduate in May 2020.
In a similar case, Michelle Carter was convicted in 2017 of involuntary manslaughter in the 2014 death of Conrad Roy III. Carter had urged Roy to kill himself via text messages.
A judge at the time determined that the then-17-year-old Carter caused Roy’s death when she ordered him in a phone call to get back in his carbon monoxide-filled truck that he’d parked in a Kmart parking lot.
Carter was sentenced to 15 months in prison.
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