Michelle Carter,18, the Massachusetts teen charged with murder for encouraging her friend to commit suicide via text, appeared in court today. Her lawyer. Joseph P. Cataldo, wants all charges thrown out but the judge rescheduled the trial to January 21, 2016.
Carter has been charged with manslaughter even though she was 30 miles away when she influenced Conrad Roy III to commit suicide in July 2014. Her attorney wants the manslaughter charge to be thrown out and to move the trial to juvenile court where the penalties would be less severe. Carter is currently being tried as a “youthful offender” which is as an adult and holds harsher sentencing.
Cataldo maintains that her words were protected under the first amendment and since she did not take any physical actions, she should not be held responsible.
Judge Lawrence Moniz “ . . . told both sides Monday to complete all of their discovery, or evidence-gathering, because he wants to move forward to trial quickly.”
Neither the Bristol County District Attorney’s office or Roy’s family would comment after today’s court session. However, the indictment is clear that they hold Carter responsible for Roy’s death. “Carter assisted Conrad’s suicide by counseling him to overcome his doubts . . . Her counsel took the form of positive direction, where she told him he was ‘strong’ enough to execute the suicide plan and would be happy once he was dead.”
Carter currently faces 20 years behind bars for her participation in Roy’s death.