The judge, Lawrence Moniz, of Bristol County Juvenile Court in southeastern MA, said the conduct of the woman, Michelle Carter, toward Conrad Roy III was not only immoral but illegal. Dozens of times, the messages urged Roy to kill himself, with one reading: "No more pushing it off".
"It got to the point that he was apologizing to her, . apologizing to her for not being dead yet", Rayburn said in her closing argument.
Carter, who was 17 at the time of the suicide, was visibly distraught as she received the news.
During the trial, the judge heard extensive readings of text-message exchanges between Carter and Roy, both of whom struggled with emotional problems.
Carter will be sentenced on August 3.
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Moniz ruled that Carter can remain free on bail as she has never failed to appear in court so far, but she is ordered not to contact Roy's family or to leave the state. She brushed off "his fears" and "concerns", according to Moniz, and when the Mattapoisett teen shut the door of his truck and ended his life, Carter was to blame. They argued that Roy had a history of depression, had tried to kill himself before and had conducted hundreds of online searches for ways to die.
He found Carter's words and inaction when Conrad Roy III committed suicide made Carter guilty of homicide. And finally, she did not issue a simple additional instruction: 'Get out of the truck.'" "She instructed Mr. Roy to get back into the truck, well knowing his ambiguities, his fears, his concerns.
The judge's verdict, at bottom, was that words can kill.
"In court Tuesday, Bristol County prosecutor Maryclare Flynn called them boyfriend and girlfriend, which seems belied by the fact that Roy and Carter ever only saw each other two or three times after they first met".
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It will be very interesting to see how well he does or where he fits in on the Florida roster with Barkov and Huberdeau there. He has good vision with the puck and does a nice job of finding shooting lanes both in 5-on-5 play and on the power play.
Prosecutors have argued the text messages support their claim that Carter caused Roy's death by recklessly helping him poison himself. "You just have to do it. This conviction exceeds the limits of our criminal laws and violates free speech protections guaranteed by the MA and USA constitutions", ACLU of MA legal director Matthew Segal told CBS News Boston.
Carter had denied involuntary manslaughter at the trial.
"This court finds that instructing Mr. Roy to "get back in" the truck constitutes wanton and reckless conduct by Ms. Carter", the judge said.
"There is no law in MA making it a crime to encourage someone, or even to persuade someone, to commit suicide".
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