Woman on Trial for Pressuring Boyfriend to Commit Suicide

Prosecutors say Michelle Carter wanted to be 'the grieving girlfriend.'

June 7, 2017 12:23 pm

Michelle Carter, 20, is currently on trial for allegedly pressuring her late boyfriend — through text messages — to commit suicide in 2014.

The Massachusetts woman wanted attention so badly that she used her 18-year-old boyfriend Conrad Roy as a “pawn in her sick game of life and death,” prosecutors accused during opening statements on Tuesday.

Bristol Assistant District Attorney Maryclare Flynn said Carter, who was 17 at the time of Roy’s death, was craving attention and sympathy and used her boyfriend’s suicide to get noticed among friends.

Roy killed himself on July 12, 2014 by inhaling carbon monoxide produced by a water pump in his truck, reported Buzzfeed. The teen had a history of mental illness and had previously attempted suicide. He got out of the truck because he was “scared” but Carted texted him to “get back in,” according to the thousands of text messages the two exchanged during the course of the relationship.

Flynn also said that Carter pretended Roy had killed himself two days before the suicide. Carter texted her friends that Roy had gone missing, even though she was texting and talking to Roy at the time.

“She begins to get the attention she craved for,” Flynn told the Taunton District Court jury as reported by Buzzfeed. “So she has to make it happen — she has to make him kill himself so that she’s not seen as a liar. She has to be the grieving girlfriend to get the sympathy and attention she craves.”

Carter is charged with involuntary manslaughter. On Monday, she waived her right to a jury — her fate is now in the hands of the judge. Buzzfeed gathered this information through a live stream of the trial and tweets from reporters in the courthouse.

Carter’s defense team argued that Roy’s suicide was his own choice and that he was “on the path to take his own life” over many years. But Flynn said that Carter ordered Flynn back into the car after he got out, and then listened for 20 minutes “as he cried out in pain and died.” Carter did not call the police or his family, Flynn told the court.

After Roy’s death, Carter posted about it on Facebook and for weeks texted Roy’s mom.

Joseph Cataldo, Carter’s defense, says that Carter was dealing with her own mental health issues at the time of Roy’s death and that she was taking antidepressants when he died.

“This was a suicide,” Cataldo said in court. “A sad and tragic suicide. But it was not a homicide.”

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