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Massachusetts woman, Michelle Carter, was only seventeen when she continually texted her boyfriend, Conrad Roy III, 18, pushing him to take his own life. After his pickup truck filled with carbon monoxide, Roy died in Fairhaven, Massachusetts in a Kmart store parking lot. Carter was found guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter on Friday with a sentencing date set for August 3rd. She faces a minimum of probation and up to twenty years in prison. Though Carter remained rather stoic throughout the trial, she broke down into tears when the decision was read aloud at Bristol County Juvenile Court in Taunton. Although she is out on bail, she isn't allowed to contact Roy's family or leave the state of Massachusetts without permission until her sentencing date.

She knew she could stop him, but didn't

Not only did Carter encourage Roy to commit suicide in the weeks leading up to his death, but she was on the phone with him as it happened. Several text exchanges between Carter and her friends showcase that she had been talking to him as the incident occurred, and encouraged him to step back into the truck when he voiced that he was scared. Cater has admitted that she could've stopped him and done more to help him, though her lawyer, Joseph Cataldo argued that Roy had a history of depression and was determined to kill himself with or without Carter's help, as he had executed several other suicide attempts in the past. He also said that Carter tried to help him at first, but when Roy refused, she decided to go along with his plan of action.

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He further argued that the content of Carter's text messages were protected by the First Amendment.

Michelle Carter, a troubled young woman

A psychiatrist, Dr. Peter Breggin, who testified for the defense claimed that just like Roy, Carter was also troubled. He said that she was on a medication for depression called Celexa at the time of Roy's death, which affected her ability to empathize and make well-thought-out decisions due to its impact on her frontal lobe. However, once again, some texts that Carter had sent to a friend revealed that she did in fact experience guilt, knowing that what she did was wrong.

The Grieving Girlfriend

It is believed by many, including the prosecution, that Carter used this instance in order to play the grieving girlfriend card. Many of her text messages, as well as a conversation she had with Roy's mother, suggest that this is the case. Whether or not Carter was attempting to play a role, her trial was an extremely important case in regards to whether or not words have the power to kill, a question that has had a blurry answer for quite some time. As a result of the verdict at hand, however, it seems like the answer is moving closer to a 'yes.'