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Woman who encouraged boyfriend to kill himself faces 20 years in prison
04 August 2017, 12:30 | Myrtle Vega
Defendant Michelle Carter listens to testimony at Taunton District Court in Taunton Massachusetts
Roy eventually acquiesced, and on July 12, 2014, he took his own life in a Fairhaven Kmart parking lot by filling his truck with deadly carbon monoxide gas.
Carter's cruel text messages were presented during the June 2017 trial, with prosecutors presenting thousands of shocking examples of her deadly encouragement.
Child welfare advocates said the case illustrated serious concerns about cyberbullying, while free-speech proponents said Bristol County Juvenile Court Judge Lawrence Moniz's guilty verdict infringed on Carter's free-speech rights by criminalizing her words.
Carter, who was 17 years old at the time of his death, is due to return to a juvenile court in Taunton, south of Boston this morning for a sentencing hearing scheduled at 4am AEST.
Carter's defense attorney, Joseph Cataldo, countered with a request for a sentence of five years supervised probation with conditions including mental-health counseling.
"This conviction exceeds the limits of our criminal laws and violates free speech protections guaranteed by the MA and U.S. Constitutions".
"While Mr. Roy's death is truly devastating, it is not a reason to stretch the boundaries of our criminal laws or abandon the protections of our constitution", said Matthew Segal, the group's legal director.
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"Ms Carter will have to live with the consequences of this for the rest of her life", said Cataldo, adding that Carter was no danger to the public.
Medwed said that he "strongly believed" Moniz would sentence her to prison, because during trial the judge "could barely hide his disdain for her when he rendered the verdict".
Michelle Carter has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison in the death of 18-year-old Mattapoisett native Conrad Roy, following her manslaughter conviction for pressuring him into suicide in July of 2014.
The judge's conclusion was particularly unexpected, several lawyers said, because MA is one of a few states that do not explicitly outlaw encouraging or persuading someone to commit suicide.
"I'm determined", Roy texted Carter later in the day.
"I pray to God you will take into consideration that Michelle was a troubled, vulnerable teenager in an extremely hard situation and made a tragic mistake", he wrote to Judge Moniz. "You did something wrong, but on the other hand I understand you were a troubled teen yourself and this is going to scar you for the rest of your life".
The verdict sent immediate shockwaves across the country and drew opposing stances from experts in the legal community.
"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.
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