Attorney: ‘No winners' in texting suicide trial

Attorney: ‘No winners' in texting suicide trial

Conrad Roy's family was emotional as they sat in court to hear the verdict. 

TAUNTON, Mass. — A young woman was convicted Friday morning of causing her boyfriend’s death by suicide in 2014.

Conrad Roy III died of carbon monoxide poisoning inside his truck on July 12, 2014, after receiving text messages from Michelle Carter urging him to do so.

“Although we are very pleased with the verdict, in reality there are no winners here today. Conrad, an 18-year-old boy is dead and a young woman is now convicted of causing his death,” prosecuting attorney Katie Rayburn said. "The evidence clearly showed but not for the actions of Michelle Carter, Conrad Roy would still have been alive the morning of July 13, 2014.”

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Judge Lawrence Moniz made the decision after two days of deliberation following a hearing that concluded with closing statements Tuesday afternoon.

"I am very disappointed with the verdict. Because the case is pending, I am not going to comment further," said defense attorney Joseph Cataldo after the verdict Friday.

When asked how Carter was doing, the lawyer said he could not comment.

In the trial, Carter’s attorney argued she could not be held responsible as a medication she was on had caused her a level of intoxication.

Prosecutors, however, argued Carter had been eager to gain attention from Roy’s suicide and knew exactly what she was doing.

“This was a unique case that dealt with a lot of important issues in our society today, but in the end, the case was really about one young man and one young woman brought together by tragic circumstances,” Rayburn said. “Two families have been torn apart and will be affected by this for years to come.”

Roy’s family was very emotional during and after the trial. His father, Conrad Roy Junior, spoke briefly after the verdict was read – reading a short statement.

“I would like to say how thankful we are to Judge Moniz and the prosecution team,” Roy said. “This has been a very tough time for our family and we’d like to just process this verdict.”

According to NAMI Massachusetts, suicide is the second leading cause of death in the state for people ages 15 to 34. However, annually there are five times as many deaths by suicide than homicide, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Rayburn spoke shortly after Roy, noting the process has been emotionally draining for everyone.

“We all wish that [Conrad] had the opportunity to grow up into adulthood to become a tugboat captain," Rayburn said.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Here are the warning signs to look for. If you see or experience these, please seek help. 

• Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself
• Looking for a way to kill oneself
• Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
• Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
• Talking about being a burden to others
• Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
• Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
• Sleeping too little or too much
• Withdrawing or feeling isolated
• Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
• Displaying extreme mood swings

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