Teen texting manslaughter verdict could face a legal challenge

04 August, 2017, 00:31 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • Woman in Texting-Suicide Case Could Get Light Sentence

Speaking in front of a full courtroom, packed with members of the Roy and Carter families, the prosecution argued for a sentence of 7 to 12 years in prison - while Joseph Cataldo, Carter's defense attorney, asked Bristol Juvenile Court Judge Lawrence Moniz to give her five years of probation.

During the trial, the judge noted that the 18-year-old Roy climbed out of the truck as it was filling with toxic gas and told Carter he was scared.

Carter was just 17 when she committed the crime, and the judge previously said she would be sentenced as a juvenile in the case that shocked the nation. NBC Boston will broadcast the proceedings live.

The judge also noted that Carter admitted in texts that she took no action; she knew the location of the truck and did not notify Conrad Roy's mother or sisters. You said you were gonna do it.

The teen's lawyers argued she suffered from mental illness at the time.

"While Mr. Roy's death is truly devastating, it is not a reason to stretch the boundaries of our criminal laws or abandon the protections of our constitution", said Matthew Segal, the group's legal director.

The judge agreed that Roy "took significant action" toward ending his life, but said he broke that chain by getting out of his vehicle and pausing to tell someone what he was doing.

Carter was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in June for relentlessly encouraging Roy's 2014 suicide via phone, text messages, and online chat.

The judge granted Carter a stay of her sentence during the appeals process, meaning she won't report to prison until all her state appeals are exhausted.


The infamous exoneree published an opinion piece for the Los Angeles Times saying "Michelle Carter deserves sympathy and help, not prison", just a few hours after Carter was sentenced.

"I pray to God you will take into consideration that Michelle was a troubled, vulnerable teenager in an extremely hard situation and made a tragic mistake", he wrote to Judge Moniz. The outcome of the emotionally exhausting weeklong trial stunned many legal experts, who said it broke legal ground by suggesting that words alone - in essence, speech itself? could be deemed to cause a suicide.

The sentencing will be announced on Thursday after she was found guilty in June.

This is the first case in MA where a suicide occurred from texting and essentially "cyberbullying" and encouraging the young man.

"You can't think about it".

Knox went on to compare Carter's trial to her own.

"I believe she should be kept far away from society", wrote Kim Bozzi, Roy's aunt, in a victim impact statement she shared earlier this week with the Herald and planned to read in court today.

Following the verdict in June, the American Civil Liberties Union of MA denounced Moniz's decision in a statement released shortly after the verdict.

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