A friend of a Massachusetts woman charged with using text messages to encourage her boyfriend to kill himself said in court the woman told her, "It's my fault."
Michelle Carter, 20, is charged with manslaughter in the July 2014 death of 18-year-old Conrad Roy III, who died of carbon monoxide poisoning in his pickup in Fairhaven. Carter was 17 at the time.
Samantha Boardman was one of several of Carter's friends who testified Wednesday.
Prosecutors say Carter sent text messages to Boardman saying, "I could have stopped him but I told him to get back in the car."
Carter's bench trial got underway Tuesday in juvenile court in Taunton. She waived her right to a jury trial on Monday, leaving a judge to hear her testimony and issue the verdict.
Wednesday's testimony started with Ali Eithier, one of Carter's summer camp friends. She stated she started getting texts from Carter, whom she described as not knowing well, around July 12, 2014, the day that Roy died.
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Prosecutors showed texts from Carter to Eithier describing how her boyfriend suffered from depression, and told her she was worried he wasn't picking up.
A few days later on July 16, Carter texted Eithier that she was on the phone with Roy when he killed himself.
"I heard him dying," she wrote.
Eithier texted back that Carter needed to speak with a therapist, and Carter responded she had a therapist since 2011 and already told her about it.
Michelle Carter Texting Suicide Trial
Three classmates - Boardman, Olivia Mosolgo and Alexandra Eblan - took the stand Wednesday.
Prosecutors said Mosolgo and Eblan received similar texts from Carter after Roy died, saying she "heard him die," and that text messages between Mosolgo and Carter show Carter felt like she didn't have friends at school.
Eblan testified that Carter messaged her that Roy left her a suicide note, and that she could read if she wanted to, but said she didn't want to read it.
A month after Roy's death, Carter told Eblan about a fundraising page she set up on Facebook, texting her "I'm like famous now haha."
Roy's mother, Lynn Roy, testified on Tuesday that Carter wanted to set up a baseball tournament fundraiser in Roy's memory, and told her proceeds would go to suicide prevention.
Boardman testified she would receive lengthy text messages from Carter until she responded, including ones where she said no one would hang out with her.
After Roy's death, Boardman said she received a text message from Carter saying that investigators were going through her cell records.
"If they read my messages with him, I'm done," Carter texted Boardman.
Boardman also testified about another text message where Carter wrote "It's my fault," blaming herself for Roy's death because she told him to get back in the truck where he died from carbon monoxide poisoning.
"I could have stopped him but I told him to get back in the car," prosecutors said Carter said in one text message to Boardman.
On Monday, prosecutors released transcripts of text messages the then-17-year-old Carter sent to Roy. In one, she allegedly wrote: "The time is right and you're ready, you just need to do it!"
Defense attorney Joseph Cataldo has argued Carter's texts are protected free speech and Roy had previously tried to kill himself.
"This case is a suicide case. It is a suicide. It is not a homicide. A young man, older than Michelle Carter, who has had a long history of suicidal thoughts, finally caused his own death," Cataldo said.
SUICIDE PREVENTION HELP: The National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-8255) is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.