TAUNTON, Mass. (CBS News/AP) — A young woman charged with using text messages to encourage her boyfriend to kill himself when they were teenagers sent a text to a friend from high school about two months after the death, saying, “It’s my fault,” according to testimony at her trial on Wednesday.
Michelle Carter, then 17, cajoled Conrad Roy III, 18, to kill himself in July 2014 with a series of texts and phone calls, prosecutors allege. Roy died when his pickup truck fill with carbon monoxide in a store parking lot in Fairhaven.
“It’s my fault,” Carter texted to her school friend Samantha Boardman. “I could have stopped him but I told him to get back in the car.
Boardman was among several of Carter’s friends and acquaintances who took the witness stand on the second day of the involuntary manslaughter trial in Taunton juvenile court. Those who testified on Wednesday described Carter’s texts to them in the hours before and after Roy took his life–some saying he was missing, some saying she was on the phone with him when he died–and some said they were surprised at the texts, because they weren’t very close with Carter, reports CBS Boston.
“I was talking on the phone with him when he killed himself … I heard him die,” Carter texted to Olivia Mosolgo days after Roy’s death, Mosolgo testified.
Mosolgo also said Carter told her she felt like she had no friends and was never invited to parties, reports CBS Boston. Mosolgo said that even though they were not close, she went to Carter’s house to comfort her after Roy’s suicide.
Another acquaintance, Alexandra Eithier, testified she had known Carter for only a few days when Carter told her about Roy’s death.
In opening statements Tuesday, the prosecution described Carter as a high schooler without many friends who wanted the sympathy and attention of being a grieving girlfriend.
Carter’s lawyer, however, disputes a crime occurred. Attorney Joseph Cataldo said Roy was depressed, had attempted suicide before, researched suicide methods online and was completely responsible for his own death. He said Carter’s text messages are protected free speech.
Carter, now 20, also told Boardman that she feared getting in trouble after she found out that police had Roy’s phone.
“I’m done,” Carter wrote in one text displayed in the court room. “His family will hate me and I can go to jail.”
Two other friends say Carter texted them saying she was on the phone with Roy as he died.
Carter expressed remorse in a message to a friend: “I’m the only one he told things too. I should have gotten him more help,” she wrote.
The police detective who conducted the criminal investigation also testified. Fairhaven Detective Scott Gordon said he found Roy’s phone and discovered the text conversation between Roy and Carter.
The case is being tried without a jury, and a judge will deliver the verdict. The judge visited the site where Roy’s truck was found on Wednesday afternoon.