Juvenile Court Judge Lawrence Monizhanded the verdict to Carter after describing how she contributed to the circumstances of Roy's death.
At the time, Carter was 17 years old, and she sent hundreds of chilling text messages that encouraged (and later, demanded for) Roy to kill himself. Roy's body was found inside his pickup truck sitting in a store parking lot full of carbon monoxide.
The judge disagreed saying he did not take into account in his verdict of Roy's previous attempts at suicide. He began deliberating late Tuesday after closing arguments concluded and read his verdict Friday morning. Though Carter initially encouraged Roy to get help for his suicidal thoughts, she eventually egged him on.
"If you point a gun at somebody, you're pretty much intending to shoot them", Gutterman said.
Carter was tried as a youthful offender, meaning she was essentially tried as an adult.
Although suicide is generally legally considered to be the result of the victim's own free will, the judge found that Carter was guilty for knowing that Roy was in a toxic situation and not making a move to save him.
The decision is historic in that there was little legal precedent for finding that one person's words (or text messages, in this case) can directly cause another person's suicide.
Moniz's guilty verdict Michelle Carter has already begun raising First Amendment questions about the government's imprisoning people exclusively for words that lead to someone's death. Yet Ms. Carter has now been convicted of manslaughter, based on the prosecution's theory that, as a 17-year-old girl, she literally killed Mr. Roy with her words.
The defense argued that Roy had been on a path to suicide "for years" and sought to minimize Carter's role in her boyfriend's life, saying the pair were in a "long-term texting relationship" and had met in person only a handful of times. According to a prosecutor, Carter "listened for 20 minutes as [Roy] cried in pain, took his last breath, and then died".
Medwed said the judge could consider Carter "morally blameworthy", but "moral blame doesn't always equal legal accountability".
The state's punishment for Carter was not announced; sentencing will be delayed until early August, to allow a pre-sentencing report to be prepared.
In 2014, Conrad Roy III killed himself by locking himself in his truck with a portable generator.
"This has been a very tough time for our family, and we'd like to just process this verdict that we are happy with", Conrad Roy Jr. said.
She was ordered to not contact members of Roy's family and to surrender her passport.
MA is one of 10 states without laws that criminalize encouraging or assisting suicide.
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