Prosecutors say a Massachusetts woman charged with manslaughter for allegedly sending her boyfriend text messages encouraging him to kill himself wanted the sympathy and attention that came with being the "grieving girlfriend."
Michelle Carter's bench trial got underway Tuesday in juvenile court in Taunton.
The 20-year-old Carter on Monday waived her right to a jury trial, meaning a judge will hear the testimony and issue the verdict.
Carter is charged in the 2014 death of 18-year-old Conrad Roy III, who was found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning in his pickup truck.
"On July 12, 2014, as his truck was filling with carbon monoxide, he was scared, he got out," prosecutor Maryclare Flynn said. "It was the defendant on the other end of the phone who ordered him back in."
After opening statements, Roy's mother, Lynn Roy, was the first witness called by the prosecution.
She became choked up as she recalled her son's history with depression, including an episode in 2012 when he was hospitalized for taking too many pills.
"He said he was sorry," she said.
She also recalled how she thought her son, who had just graduated before his death, was doing well before he was found dead, and said Carter reached out to her in text messages after his death.
Flynn read the text messages in court, including one that read, "I tried my hardest, everyone tried their hardest to save him...I never tried harder at something in my life."
In another text to Roy's mother Lynn, Carter wrote she wanted to organize a baseball tournament in his honor, and that the proceeds would go to suicide prevention.
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!"
Carter's lawyer says the 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," Joseph Cataldo argued.