A woman who allegedly encouraged her boyfriend to commit suicide has had her request to delay her manslaughter trial denied by a judge.
Michelle Carter, 20, is due to stand trial on March 6 in relation to the death of Conrad Roy III.
Taunton Juvenile Court Judge Lawrence Moniz rejected the plea by Ms Carter’s defence lawyer, Joseph Cataldo, to have the trial date pushed out until April or May.
“Oh, that’s not happening. That’s not happening,” said Judge Moniz according to the Boston Herald. “We’re not going to put it out that far.”
Conrad Roy was found dead in his truck on July 13, 2014 with the windows rolled up, and it appeared as though the 18 year old had taken his life by inhaling carbon monoxide.
In the days that followed, Roy’s girlfriend, Ms Carter, appeared distraught over her boyfriend’s death.
“I will never understand why this had to happen” she wrote in a Twitter post on July 16. “Such a beautiful soul gone too soon. I’ll always remember your bright light and smile. You’ll forever be in my heart, I love you Conrad” she wrote in another.
Yet it soon became clear that Carter’s role in the tragedy went far beyond that of grieving girlfriend after police discovered texts from Carter that actively encouraged him to commit suicide.
On the night of his death, Carter’s texts allegedly revealed that Roy had second thoughts and got out of the truck to call Carter.
In July the Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts had probable cause to indict Carter in Roy’s death.
Justice Robert Cordy found that Carter engaged in a “systematic campaign of coercion” that targeted Roy’s insecurities. In a summation, it said that “but for the defendant’s admonishments, pressure and instructions, the victim would nto have gotten back into the truck and poisoned himself to death”.
The decision came after Carter appealed an earlier court ruling that she must stand trial.
However, civil liberties experts say the case raises concerns. After all, can anyone really be held responsible for another person’s suicide
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