It is being reported on July 2, 2016 that Michelle Carter, the Massachusetts teenager charged with influencing her friend to commit suicide via text messages, will have to stand trial for involuntary manslaughter.
“The Supreme Judicial Court ruled Friday that a grand jury had probable cause to indict Michelle Carter, then 17, in the 2014 death of Carter Roy III, 18.”
Conrad Roy had a history of depression and a previous suicide attempt before taking his life in a Kmart parking lot by inhaling carbon monoxide fumes from a generator. Before he succeeded in killing himself in July 2014, he had been exchanging text messages with Michelle Carter who directed and demanded him to do it.
Michelle Carter’s lawyer argue that her text messages are free speech protected under the First Amendment. They also argue there are no laws in the state of MA against assisted suicide. Prosecutors argue that due to Conrad’s fragile mental state, her texts pushing him to go through with the suicide was a
“‘systematic campaign of coercion’ that targeted Roy’s insecurities and that her instruction to ‘get back in’ his truck in the final moments of his life was a “direct, causal link” to his death.”
The courts have not made any decisions about Michelle Carter’s guilt or innocence. The Supreme Judicial Court determined only that there is enough evidence to proceed to trial. The full contents of Carters texts to Conrad can be read here.