Can Speech be a Murder Weapon?

By Samantha Grant

A woman accused of encouraging her boyfriend to take his own life through  a series of texts and phone calls was sentenced last week to 20 years in prison.

Michelle Carter was quickly a suspect in the suicide of her then-boyfriend, Conrad Roy, after the police discovered text messages sent by Carter telling Roy to commit suicide.  Roy died from carbon-monoxide poisoning after locking himself in his truck.

A single phone call made from Carter to Roy may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.  Roy had apparently stepped out of his truck when Carter instructed him to stay in the vehicle and go through with what he had started.  Carter stayed on the phone until he died.

Carter’s case has been identified as one of the first of its kind where someone has been convicted of manslaughter due to texts and phone calls.


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