Prosecutors say Michelle Carter played a ‘‘sick game’’ with her boyfriend's life during the first day of her manslaughter trial on Tuesday.
Carter, then 17, repeatedly urged her boyfriend Conrad Roy III, 18, to kill himself, prosecutor Maryclare Flynn said in opening statements, according to the Associated Press.
Flynn told the judge deciding the case that Roy was sitting in his pickup in July 2014, filling his truck with carbon monoxide, trying to kill himself. Having second thoughts, he left the truck, and Carter told him to ‘‘get back in.’’
Flynn accused Carter of wanting the sympathy and attention that came with being the ‘‘grieving girlfriend.’’
Defense attorney, Joseph Cataldo, said that Carter, now 20, had urged her boyfriend to get help.
Roy was depressed after his parents’ divorce, was physically and verbally abused by family members and had long thought of suicide, even researching suicide methods online, he said.
It was Carter who urged him to get help, Cataldo claimed.
‘‘Conrad Roy was on this path to take his own life for years,’’ he said. ‘‘It was Conrad Roy’s idea to take his own life. It was not Michelle Carter’s idea. This was a suicide, a sad and tragic suicide, but not a homicide.’’
He added that Carter had her own mental health struggles and was on medications that may have clouded her judgment, according to the AP.
Cataldo said Roy suggested he and Carter should die like Romeo and Juliet but Carter told him she didn’t want them to die.
The first witness on the stand was Roy’s mother, Lynn Roy, who testified that she took a walk with her son hours before he was found dead. According to the AP, she testified that he showed no signs he intended to harm himself. She also testified that she received text messages from Carter expressing sympathy after the suicide, but that Carter didn’t reveal that she knew anything about Roy being suicidal.
The case is being tried without a jury in juvenile court. Carter is subject to adult punishment if convicted, according to the AP.