Mass. teen in court in coerced suicide case

Carter's next court date is October 2nd

(CNN) – A Massachusetts teen accused of convincing her friend to commit suicide faces involuntary manslaughter charges.

Prosecutors say text messages show she was an accessory, but the defense says she was troubled too, and only trying to help her friend.

Michelle Carter and her parents didn’t talk about the thousands of text messages between her and the deceased, Conrad Roy. The Mattapoisett 18-year-old killed himself in July of 2014. Carter is accused of coercing him into suicide. In one text she said to Roy, “you said you were gonna do it. I don’t get like why you aren’t.” Roy responded “i don’t get it either. I don’t know.”

Defense Attorney Joseph Cataldo said, “The government is harping, if you will, on her saying when are you going to do it? When are you going to do it? What they are not harping on are all the times she said don’t do it, don’t do it.”

The defense says texts are protected as free speech.

Asst. District Attorney Katie Rayburn said, “One can be an aider and abettor, or an accessory before the fact simply for words.”

Roy died of carbon monoxide poisoning at a Fairhaven shopping plaza. Carter, on the phone with Roy when it happened, later told a friend “It’s my fault. I was talking to him while he killed himself. I heard him cry in pain.” She stays on the phone with him to ensure that he is dead.

The family has since read every text.

Asst. District Attorney Rayburn said in court: “Her words are not protected, your honor. Her words are harmful, offensive and likely to cause an immediate, violent act.”

Carter’s next court date is October 2nd. That’s when the judge could rule on dropping the charges against her.

Roy had previously tried to commit suicide and was battling depression.

Copyright 2015 CNN

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