Judge Denies Dismissal in Case of Teen Charged in Boyfriend's Suicide

Michelle Carter is accused of sending 18-year-old Conrad Roy III dozens of text messages encouraging him to kill himself

A juvenile court judge ruled that an 18-year-old Massachusetts teenager accused of encouraging her boyfriend to kill himself should face an involuntary manslaughter charge, denying a motion to dismiss the charge.

Michelle Carter, of Plainville, is accused of sending 18-year-old Conrad Roy III, of Mattapoisett, dozens of text messages in 2014 encouraging him to kill himself.

Roy's body was found in his pickup in Fairhaven on July 13, 2014. He died of carbon monoxide poisoning and police found a gasoline-operated water pump in the back seat.

In her ruling on Tuesday, Judge Bettina Borders cited records that prosecutors say show Carter, then 17, was on the phone with Roy for about 45 minutes while he was inhaling carbon monoxide, heard him moaning and did not call 911. She also cited text messages Carter allegedly sent to her friend in which she said she told Roy to get back in his truck when he became afraid.

"The Grand Jury could find probable cause that her failure to act within the 45 minutes, as well as her instruction to the victim to get back into the truck after he got out of the truck, caused the victim's death," the judge wrote.

Carter's lawyer, Joseph Cataldo, said he plans to appeal the decision. Cataldo has said that earlier text messages sent by Carter show she tried repeatedly to get Roy to seek help.

A spokesman for the district attorney's office says they are pleased with the New Bedford judge's ruling and they can now focus on the upcoming trial. No trial date has been set yet.

A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Nov. 30 in Taunton Juvenile Court.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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