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Teen Facing Manslaughter Charges After Encouraging Boyfriend's Suicide

Posted By Duck Law Firm || 29-Apr-2016

When Conrad Roy contacted his long-distance relationship girlfriend, Michelle Carter, in July of 2014, he told her that he was planning on committing suicide via carbon monoxide poisoning. Instead of contacting the police and attempting to talk him out of the reckless behavior, Carter allegedly encouraged him to kill himself. According to text messages and phone call records collected by investigators, Roy decided to stop himself during the suicide attempt but Carter told him to reenter his truck, which he was steadily filling with carbon monoxide created by a small personal generator he had placed within. In the end, Roy did commit suicide.

Carter has since been arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter for not only showing negligence in her inaction but also maliciousness in her encouragement. If convicted, she could face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. But the case has caught national headlines and stirred up controversy.

Can someone really be convicted for what they said and not their actions? She was miles and miles away from Roy at the time of the incident, unable to physically stop or cause his death. But the persistent bullying of her words, which allegedly began several days before he committed suicide, certainly had a negative impact on his psyche, self-esteem, and his decision to take his own life. It will be up to Massachusetts courts to decide if she is actually protected by the First Amendment to say whatever she please or if her words do constitute involuntary manslaughter.

The Moral of the Story

No matter how the court ultimately decides Ms. Carter’s legal fate, the moral of this tragic tale remains the same: bullying must stop. In America and across the world, it is a growing problem for youths, especially those who attend public schools without appropriate levels of adult supervision. Even when physical abuse is not part of the bullying, the emotional and mental trauma can be severe and permanent.

There is never a reason to encourage someone’s suicide, or do nothing to prevent it. Please reach out to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.8255 or the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 if someone you love is contemplating suicide. Both lines are completely free and provide totally anonymous support 24/7/365.

There is also never an excuse for bullying. If your child is being bullied at school and faculty are not making an effort to prevent it, a lawsuit may be the only way to bring it to an end. You can schedule a free consultation with Duck Law Firm, L.L.C. and our Louisiana school bullying attorney today.

Categories: In the News, Bullying
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