A teen in Massachusetts facing jail time for involuntary manslaughter attempted to argue in court that encouraging her friend to kill himself was not a crime.
Michelle Carter, an 18-year-old from Plainville, Massachusetts, could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of involuntary manslaughter relating to the death of 18-year-old Conrad Roy III. On July 13, 2014, Roy killed himself using carbon monoxide fumes from his pickup truck.
Carter allegedly texted Roy the night of his suicide, encouraging him to “get back in” the truck and to let her know when he was going to make the attempt.
The night before Roy’s death, Carter texted another friend saying she was “losing all hope” that the young man was “still alive.”
“There’s no law in Massachusetts that says you can’t encourage someone else to commit suicide, like there is in some other states,” attorney Joseph Cataldo said after filing a motion to dismiss Carter’s case.
In court last February, Cataldo argued that his client was actually trying to help Roy.
“Taking all the texts in context, she tried to talk him out of it,” he said. “He caused his own death. She doesn't understand why she is being prosecuted.”
The motion to have Carter’s case dismissed is currently being considered.