A former Boston College student accused of encouraging her boyfriend to kill himself has provided text messages to the media that she says prove she tried to save his life.
Alexander Urtula, 22, jumped from the top of a parking garage in Roxbury, Massachusetts on the morning of May 20, less than two hours before he was supposed to graduate from Boston College. His girlfriend Inyoung You, 21, of South Korea, was formally indicted on Oct. 18, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office announced last month.
Prosecutors claim that You “was physically, verbally and psychologically abusive towards Mr. Urtula during their 18-month-long tumultuous relationship. The abuse became more frequent, more powerful and more demeaning in the days and hours leading up to Mr. Urtula’s death.” They accuse her of telling him to kill himself dozens, if not hundreds, of times over text, Boston.com reported.
Rasky Partners Inc., a public relations firms representing You, provided texts to the Boston Globe which they say show that she tried to prevent her boyfriend’s suicide the morning that he jumped to his death. They say the texts could possibly be presented as evidence at her trial.
In the texts, You appears to plead with Urtula not to kill himself once he reveals his plans to jump off a building.
“ALEX,” she texted him, according to the Globe. “WHAT SRE [sic] YOU [expletive] DOING. IF U [expletive] LOVE ME STOP. IF U EVER [expletive] LOVED ME STOP.”
“Please baby,” she wrote in another text. “i love you so much. Please stop please. Please baby please stop i love you.”
“IM BEGGING YOU,” You wrote, after she made it clear she was coming to the parking garage. “PLEASE IM ALMOST THERE PLEASE. where are u please please please.”
The PR firm also provided texts in which they say prove she called Urtula’s brother for help before Urtula's death.
You was present when Urtula took his own life.
The district attorney’s office did not comment on the texts or the authenticity of them but they did release a statement, obtained by the Globe.
“This office will not comment further on the investigation at this point, or on the evidence that supported our charging decision. More facts and evidence will be made available at the arraignment and throughout the course of the litigation,” it read.
The district attorney’s office has previously noted that two months prior to his suicide, Urtula and You exchanged a whopping 75,000 text messages. You sent the majority of those messages, which allegedly "display the power dynamic of the relationship, wherein Ms. You made demands and threats with the understanding that she had complete and total control over Mr. Urtula both mentally and emotionally," according to prosecutors.
Prosecutors allege You controlled Urtula and isolated him from his loved ones all while “aware of his spiraling depression and suicidal thoughts brought on by her abuse.”
“The indictment alleges Ms. You’s behavior was wanton and reckless and resulted in overwhelming Mr. Urtula’s will to live; and that she created life-threatening conditions for Mr. Urtula that she had a legal duty to alleviate, which she failed to do,” according to their office.
It’s not clear if You is still in South Korea or if she has returned to the United States to face the allegations. If she does not return voluntarily to face charges, the prosecutor’s office plans to have her extradited, the Boston Globe reported.
Urtula has been described as "gifted" and involved in his school's community, including the college's Philippine Society of Boston College.
The case has clear parallels to another story that also happened in Massachusetts: the Michelle Carter case. A judge made the controversial decision to convict her of involuntary manslaughter in 2017 for her boyfriend Conrad Roy’s suicide in 2014.
Roy was found dead at age 18 after he let his truck fill with carbon monoxide in a parking lot. After his death, a trail of text messages led to a then-17-year-old Carter, revealing that she was relentless in her pro-suicide texts to him. The day of his suicide she did not try to stop him. She also neglected to contact police or his family for help. Instead, she texted his family pretending to be worried that he was missing.
Carter’s lawyers been trying to appeal her conviction, claiming it violated both her First Amendment right to free speech and her Fifth Amendment right to due process.
In a petition filed over the summer, her lawyers wrote, “Michelle Carter’s conviction for involuntary manslaughter in connection with Conrad Roy III’s suicide is unprecedented. Massachusetts is the only state to have affirmed the conviction of a physically absent defendant who encouraged another person to commit suicide with words alone. Before this case, no state had interpreted its common law or enacted an assisted suicide statute to criminalize such ‘pure speech,’ and no other defendant had been convicted for encouraging another person to take his own life where the defendant neither provided the actual means of death nor physically participated in the suicide.”
It’s not clear if the Carter case has affected the charges filed in this one.
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