The trial of a young woman accused of encouraging her boyfriend to commit suicide got underway in a Taunton, Massachusetts courtroom Tuesday.
The opening statements in the Michelle Carter trial got underway around 9:30 a.m., according to WPRI.
On Monday, the day that jury selection was set to begin, Carter waived her right to a trial by jury, according to CBS Boston. That means a judge, not a jury, will determine her fate.
Criminal defense attorney Patrick Donovan said the last minute decision is a “gutsy move.” He told CBS Boston it was likely made because a judge could be less influenced by some of the disturbing details of the case than a jury.
Carter is charged with involuntary manslaughter for allegedly encouraging her boyfriend, 18-year-old Conrad Roy, to kill himself in 2014. He died of carbon monoxide poisoning after texts from Carter, then 17, that told him to go through with suicide.
“You can’t think about,” Carter allegedly wrote in one of the text messages according to WPRI. “You just have to do it. You said you were gonna do it. Like I don’t get why you aren’t.”
Conrad wrote at some point, "I don't know. I'm freaking out again. I'm over thinking."
And according to WCVB, Carter kept pushing.
"I thought you wanted to do this. This time is right and you're ready. You just need to do it. You can't keep living this way. You just need to do it like you did the last time and not think about it and just do it, babe. You can't keep doing this every day."
The prosecution’s witness list includes members of the Roy family, police and paramedics.The defense plans to call members of the Carter family along with some expert witnesses. One of them will be Dr. Peter Breggin, who claims that Carter was “intoxicated” by anti-depressants she was taking, drugs that should not have been prescribed to a teen. Attorneys have been arguing whether to allow the testimony from the doctor this morning.
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