Trial set for Massachusetts woman in texting suicide case

In this Aug. 24, 2015, file photo, Michelle Carter listens to her defense attorney argue for an involuntary manslaughter charge against her to be dismissed at Juvenile Court in New Bedford, Mass. (Peter Pereira/The New Bedford Standard Times via AP, Pool, File)

TAUNTON, Mass. (AP) — A judge has set a March 6 trial date for a Massachusetts woman accused of sending her boyfriend text messages encouraging him to kill himself.

Michelle Carter is charged with manslaughter in the 2014 death of Conrad Roy III. The 18-year-old Roy died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Prosecutors say the then-17-year-old Carter had sent him dozens of messages urging him to follow through on his suicide plan.

The case drew national attention after transcripts of text messages Carter sent to Roy were released publicly, showing her urging him to follow through on his plan to kill himself and chastising him when he expressed doubts.

Carter: “You can’t think about it. You just have to do it. You said you were gonna do it. Like I don’t get why you aren’t.”

Conrad: “I don’t get it either. I don’t know.”

Carter: “So I guess you aren’t gonna do it then. All that for nothing. I’m just confused. Like you were so ready and determined.”

Conrad: “I am gonna eventually. I really don’t know what I’m waiting for but I have everything lined up.”

Carter: “No, you’re not, Conrad. Last night was it. You kept pushing it off and you say you’ll do it, but you never do. It’s always gonna be that way if you don’t take action. You’re just making it harder on yourself by pushing it off. You just have to do it.”

During a pretrial hearing Monday, a judge set the trial date and also granted a request from Carter’s lawyer for funds to hire an expert to examine an antidepressant both Carter and Roy were taking at the time of his death. The judge initially rejected the request.

Carter’s attorney said the drug Celexa could be a key to Carter’s defense because it can increase suicidal thoughts.

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