This is the most wicked teen any of us have ever heard of.
A teenage Massachusetts girl who sent her boyfriend dozens of text messages encouraging him to take his own life and who allegedly told him to “get back in” a truck filled with carbon monoxide fumes must stand trial for involuntary manslaughter, the state’s highest court ruled Friday. The Supreme Judicial Court ruled Friday that a grand jury had probable cause to indict Michelle Carter, then 17, in the 2014 death of Carter Roy III, 18.
Carter’s lawyer had argued that her texts were free speech protected by the First Amendment and did not cause Roy to kill himself. But the court, in a strongly worded decision, said the grand jury heard evidence suggesting that Carter engaged in a “systematic campaign of coercion” that targeted Roy’s insecurities and that her instruction to “get back in” his truck in the final moments of his life was a “direct, causal link” to his death.
“In sum, we conclude that there was probable cause to show that the coercive quality of the defendant’s verbal conduct overwhelmed whatever willpower the eighteen year old victim had to cope with his depression, and that but for the defendant’s admonishments, pressure, and instructions, the victim would not have gotten back into the truck and poisoned himself to death,” Justice Robert Cordy wrote for the court in the unanimous, 7-0 ruling.
The case drew national attention after transcripts of text messages Carter sent to Roy were released publicly, showing her urging him to follow through on his plan to kill himself and chastising him when he expressed doubts. “I thought you wanted to do this. The time is right and you’re ready, you just need to do it!” Carter wrote in one message. “You can’t think about it. You just have to do it. You said you were gonna do it. Like I don’t get why you aren’t,” she wrote in another message.