Judge denies funds for drug expert in texting suicide case

Conrad Roy III was found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning in Fairhaven

Michelle Carter
In this Aug. 24, 2015 file photo, Michelle Carter listens to defense attorney Joseph P. Cataldo argue for an involuntary manslaughter charge against her to be dismissed at Juvenile Court in New Bedford, Mass. Carter, of Plainville, Mass., is charged with involuntary manslaughter for allegedly pressuring Conrad Roy III, of Fairhaven, Mass., to commit suicide in 2014. Her lawyer will ask the Supreme Judicial Court Thursday, April 7, 2016, to overrule a lower court judge who refused to dismiss the youthful offender indictment against her, which makes her eligible for up to 20 years in prison instead of a lower sentence if she was prosecuted as a juvenile. (Peter Pereira/Standard Times via AP, Pool, File) MANDATORY CREDIT

TAUNTON, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts woman charged with manslaughter after sending her boyfriend text messages encouraging him to take his own life has been dealt a setback.

An attorney for 20-year-old Michelle Carter asked a judge Thursday for funds to hire an expert to explain, at trial, the effects of an antidepressant.

Attorney Joseph Cataldo said both Carter and her boyfriend, 18-year-old Conrad Roy III, were taking Celexa. He said it has a warning that it may cause suicidal thoughts.

But the judge denied the request, saying Celexa’s effect on Roy was “speculative.” The judge approved funds, however, for the defense to hire an expert on adolescent behavior.

Roy was found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning in his pickup truck in Fairhaven. Carter was 17 at the time of Roy’s July 2014 death.

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