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The Michelle Carter case is likely the most well known case of a person who has been held responsible for another person’s suicide.
Carter, now 25, was sentenced to serve 15 months after being convicted in 2017 of involuntary manslaughter in Conrad Roy's 2014 death. A judge determined that Carter, who was 17 at the time, was culpable in 18-year-old Roy's suicide after she encouraged him to die by suicide in text messages, as well as telling him in a phone call to get back in his truck, which was filling up with carbon monoxide. She was released in January of 2020 on good behavior after appealing her conviction to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The case drew national attention after Carter was depicted as a a teen black widow in the media. The 2019 documentary “I Love You, Now Die,” humanized both Carter and Roy by showing the nuances of the case. Now the story has been dramatized in Hulu’s new miniseries “The Girl From Plainville.”
And while it may be difficult to believe, there are other cases that mirror Carter and Roy's story.
1. The death of Alexander Urtula
Alexander Urtula, 22, also died by suicide in Massachusetts after his girlfriend, 23-year-old Inyoung You, encouraged him. And, like Carter, she has been found criminally responsible for his death.
In 2019, Urtula jumped to his death from the top of a parking garage in Roxbury, Massachusetts less than two hours before he was supposed to graduate from Boston College.
Inyoung You, a South Korean native and an American citizen, was formally indicted five months later. She pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter for his death and she was sentenced to a 2-1/2-year suspended jail sentence and 10 years of probation. She has also been barred from profiting from the case, in terms of book or film deals, as a condition of the sentence handed down in the Carter case.
The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office wrote in a 2019 press release that You encouraged Urtula to kill himself dozens — if not hundreds — of times via text messages. They also accused her of being “physically, verbally and psychologically abusive” to her boyfriend throughout their relationship, abuse that only increased in the days and hours leading up to his death.
2. The death of Jchandra Brown
In 2017, a hunter in Utah found the body of JChandra Brown hanging from a noose fashioned out of a white nylon rope. When investigators arrived, they found a receipt near the body showing that Brown's friend, 18-year-old Tyerell Przybycien, had purchased the rope. The two friends had apparently made a suicide pact. However, it seemed that Przybycien never had any intention of killing himself.
“‘The thing is,’” Przybycien texted a friend, Washington Post reported in 2017. “I wanna help kill them. It be awesome. Seriously im going to help her. Its like getting away with murder! . . . I’m seriously not joking. It’s going down in about a week or two.”
Chad Grunander, deputy attorney, Utah County Attorney’s Office, told the producers of Oxygen's “Accident, Suicide or Murder” that "there was no doubt that Jchandra had taken the final step in committing suicide."
Przybycien was arrested and charged with murder, reckless endangerment, and desecration of a human body. He pleaded guilty to child abuse homicide, a first-degree felony with a lower minimum sentence. He was sentenced to five years to life in prison.
3. The death of Megan Meier
The 2006 suicide of a Missouri 13-year-old girl led to a shocking arrest: the mother of one of the teen's classmates. who antagonized her in the days leading up to her death.
Megan Meier was found hanging in her bedroom closet; she died a day later.
The teenager had been conversing with whom she thought was a boy named Josh Evans over MySpace. However, it was a fake account created by Lori Drew, the mother of one of Meier's former friends, according to ABC News.
The fake profile first sent Meier compliments, but within a month, those turned into insults, calling the 13-year-old "fat" and "a slut," according to ABC News. She also told the teen "the world would be a better place without her".
Drew, was charged with four potential felony counts of unauthorized computer access under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Wired reported in 2009. While a jury convicted her of three of those charges, a federal judge overturned the guilty verdicts in 2009, resulting in an acquittal.
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