back to article Teen girl who texted boyfriend to kill himself guilty of manslaughter

The teenager who repeatedly urged and encouraged her boyfriend to kill himself with hundreds of text messages has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. Michelle Carter, now 20, was 17 when she spent several months pushing 18-year-old Conrad Roy – who she referred to as her boyfriend – to commit suicide. Most …

  1. NoneSuch
    Coffee/keyboard

    Mrs. Peacock did it in the Conservatory with an iPhone.

    1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      A bit flippant

      Considering we are talking about a real death.

      1. ps2os2

        Re: A bit flippant

        Look at Trump, what would happen if he tweeted the wrong word. Nuclear war might happen.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: A bit flippant

          Duck and covfefe.

    2. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Mrs May did it in the conservative party with a lead pipe.

  2. Snorlax Silver badge
    Devil

    What a shitty person - she tipped a vulnerable kid over the edge.

    Hopefully she'll the maximum sentence allowable.

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      @Snorlax - Typically the sentence is hand down in another hearing. But she is beyond vile and repulsive.

    2. gandalfcn

      "Hopefully she'll the maximum sentence allowable."

      And she will no doubt be "well looked after" by the other inmates.

      It isn't going to be at all pleasant for her.

  3. NanoMeter

    Not my kind of girl "friend".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Unlike that Arias b1tch at least she didn't tie him up in a shower and do it herself.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Holmes

      Not my kind of girl "friend".

      yeah, she's maybe a symptom of the kinds of vacuous, self-centered, uber-feminist, drama queens being excreted by the millennial generation, i.e. "undateable" and reason for the '3DPD' acronym. She probably spells 'women' as 'womyn', too.

      I blame Patricia Ireland and Gloria Steinam and others for helping to create multiple generations of these *kinds* of B.I.itches. [fortunately not ALL women fall into this trap, just way too many of them, and if they quote the 'fish needs a bicycle' idiocy, they're UBER undateable!]

      Anyway, combine "that attitude" with a twisted desire to act like an intarweb troll (i.e. "Be An Hero" de-motivational showing someone with a gun to his head) and you get a 17 year old chick attempting to do an assisted suicide "for the lulz".

      yeah. I'm probably right. watch the downvotes that come from people who hate hearing the truth, though.

      1. Martin
        WTF?

        @bombastic bob - Re: Not my kind of girl "friend".

        So, basically, feminism is the reason why a girl drove a boy to commit suicide?

        Blimey, that's a stretch by any standards. Have a downvote.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @bombastic bob - Not my kind of girl "friend".

          No more than "I killed myself because someone told me to do it".

        2. Nattrash

          @bombastic bob - Not my kind of girl "friend".

          Ahhh, what would the world be without BBobs balanced opinion...

          And don't get me wrong BBob, you can have any kind of opinion, can say anything you like.

          But IMHO think that you most troublesome observation is the end of your comment:

          "yeah. I'm probably right"

          Here, have a down vote, just for old times sake...

        3. enormous c word

          Re: @bombastic bob - Not my kind of girl "friend".

          @Martin, I don't see what this has to do with Feminism - I do kind of get Bombastic Bob's point, though - there is something weird going on in society where people are using their perceived / presented vulnerability as a means of empowerment.

          (some) Cyclists (I cycle too) seem hell bent on putting themselves in danger with cars so they can make a point about the nobility of their actions in the face of danger.

          Social Media addicts seem to want to share their every ailment and discover some dubious ailment to classify themselves with.

          Kids glory in being no good at maths, while Talent Show contestants ("who really, really want it, because it's their dream") spend more time relaying their sob-story than developing an actual skill.

          Z-List celebs only seem to have an existence in the public eye while spilling their guts.

          Everyone just seems desperate for attention from total strangers.

      2. Alfred

        Re: Not my kind of girl "friend".

        I can see B.Bob actually doing things like this himself (maybe not this far, but certainly on this spectrum); his adherence to his doctrine and his need to push his agenda of victimhood into stories that have absolutely nothing to do with it make me think that he'd happily cause pain and suffering to individuals to advance his own social agenda. He strikes me as exactly the kind of "righteous" person who lets the ends justify the means.

      3. MyffyW Silver badge

        Re: Not my kind of girl "friend".

        "UBER undateable"? ..... trust me, hun, if you turned up for a date in an Uber it would be game over even before the grade-school misogyny kicked in.

  4. frank ly Silver badge

    It took just under three years for this to be resolved with the verdict. I don't understand why it took so long.

    1. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

      "don't understand why it took so long."

      The US legal system frequently makes the Vogons look like efficiency experts

      1. ma1010 Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: "don't understand why it took so long."

        The US legal system frequently makes the Vogons look like efficiency experts

        Having worked for many years in that system, I must say that you are absolutely right.

        Of course, inefficiency can sometimes be a good thing. After all, the Vogons still haven't gotten around to clearing the way for that hyperspace bypass.

      2. vogon00

        Re: "don't understand why it took so long."

        One was about to object about the slur on Vogon efficiency, however you are correct.

      3. RedCardinal

        Re: "don't understand why it took so long."

        But do they strap you into Poetry Appreciation chairs?

    2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      @frank ly - without knowing the specifics there was likely a time lag as evidence was gathered and assessed (say 6 months). Then she is charged and makes a preliminary hearing (say a 2 months). Now there is time for some shystering (several months). Then finally a trial date is set. It is fairly easy for 18 months to two years to pass before the trial begins for a straightforward case. In this case throw some wrangling over whether she should charged as an adult or as a child, she was 17 at the time.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Cardassian justice

      The verdict was decided before the case began. Quoting wikipedia: "The trial only shows how the offender was found to be guilty."

      1. Mephistro Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Cardassian justice

        Upvoted for the almost perfect use of misdirection, and the lulz. 8^)

  5. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Stupid but?

    Looks to me like this was two sick people interacting - this is rarely going to work out well but did it rise to the level of manslaughter? This is the USA ... would the verdict have been the same if the positions had been reversed and the boyfriend had talked his girlfriend into it, or if the two weren't both white?

    1. Snorlax Silver badge

      Re: Stupid but?

      Did it rise to the level of manslaughter? Yes it did. She both actively encouraged a vulnerable person to kill himself, and also failed to notify the emergency services or others who might have been able to help him.

      What do you think should have happened to her?

    2. Kaltern Silver badge

      Re: Stupid but?

      So you're saying that if one person, who wasn't sick as in mentally incapacitated, but sick as in psychotically driven to cause her 'boyfriend' to eventually kill himself, was white, she didn't deserve to go to jail for a VERY long time?

      What a ridiculous statement. Why does skin colour have to come into everything? She was twisted and clearly enjoyed the power she had over her victim. She deserved to be found guilty of manslaughter, and it's a shame that some form of murder charge couldn't have been brought against her.

      And why on earth would the verdict have been different if it was a male causing a female to commit suicide? I can't quite understand your thinking.

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: Stupid but?

        In the USA, color (sic) has everything to do with it - we just pretend that it doesn't.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: Stupid but?

          Maybe she's mentally ill to some degree, but one could make the argument that anyone who commits murder or child abuse has a mental illness. Should we go easy on murder and pedophilia because of that?

          1. iRadiate

            Re: Stupid but?

            >> Should we go easy on murder and pedophilia because of that?

            There's certainly a case for going easy on pedophilia that hasn't been enacted upon.

            In German if a guy thinks he might abuse a child but has yet to do so he can go and get professional help in complete confidence. No one other than his therapist will know.

            In the UK if a guy admits he has such feelings he's put on a sex offenders register and publicly 'outed'.

            There's lots of evidence to suggest that some of these feelings are related to obsessive compulsion disorder and lots of people who have OCD are afraid of talking about those feelings in case they get themselves in trouble.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-1XMUAsQCw

            1. bombastic bob Silver badge
              Childcatcher

              Re: Stupid but?

              how did the topic go off into pedophilia-land?

              anyway my $.10 on that: people should be able to THINK or FEEL whatever they want. You can't have thought/emotion police [that's just stupid]. It's what a person DOES that matters. And if you're discouraging a potential kid-rapist from seeking psychological treatment before he commits an actual crime, by throwing his name onto an embarassing registry (etc.) then it's NOT helping...

              And if no actual children are harmed... who cares WHAT happens? I'm sure there's a (NSFW) solution or two available online...

          2. Alfred

            Re: Stupid but?

            " Should we go easy on ... pedophilia because of that?"

            Pedophilia isn't a crime. Acting on it is.

        2. InNY

          Re: Stupid but?

          You're getting down votes for telling the truth? Strange world we live in. :/

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Childcatcher

            Re: Stupid but?

            "You're getting down votes for telling the truth"

            that only happens when you express something with a _conservative_ viewpoint.

            In this case, the overt "black lives matter" type of thinking, i.e. "non-whites are the only ones who get jailed", is what's getting the downvotes.

            So yeah, dropping the racial/racist comments SHOULD make the downvotes go away.

        3. Tuesday Is Soylent Green Day

          Re: Stupid but? @Version 1.0

          - "In the USA, color (sic) has everything to do with it - we just pretend that it doesn't." -

          No, in the USA, colour has nothing to do with it and you just pretend that it does.

    3. Bloodbeastterror

      Re: Stupid but?

      "two sick people interacting"

      Yes, certainly, but the sickness was of diametrically opposite kinds. The boy was a poor sod who needed support. I've often been extremely sad, never to the point of suicide, but I can imagine that negative feedback would certainly have deepened the hole I was in.

      The girl, on the other hand, is a vile vicious piece of trash. No sympathy, no empathy, just apparent glee in the power she had over the poor sod, and revelling in the attention she expected as the bereaved girlfriend. A disgusting repulsive failure of a human being.

      Like an earlier poster, I hope she gets the full twenty years.

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: Stupid but?

        I'd agree with all your points and I have sympathy with the downvotes that I'm getting but what good is twenty years in jail going to do? They were both sick and neither one was getting the medical attention that they needed - but then this is the USA so nobody cares until you kill someone.

        1. Florida1920 Silver badge

          Re: Stupid but?

          what good is twenty years in jail going to do?

          No guarantee she'll get 20 years. She could get a suspended sentence and probation. The next nutcase that comes along may be discouraged from doing the same thing if s/he thinks it will lead to prison. This woman is clearly messed up. There's always a chance she'll get some help if incarcerated. Being allowed to walk free is a license to kill.

          1. h4rm0ny

            Re: Stupid but?

            Prison seldom works as a deterrent. Extra long sentences never do. If you're willing to give up two years of your life living in a box and have every aspect of your life controlled by prison guards, then you're already not thinking rationally about cost-benefit. So why do you think twenty years would make someone suddenly rational.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Stupid but?

              Prison seldom works as a deterrent. Extra long sentences never do. If you're willing to give up two years of your life living in a box and have every aspect of your life controlled by prison guards, then you're already not thinking rationally about cost-benefit. So why do you think twenty years would make someone suddenly rational.

              It won't, but she'll be at least ten years older (time off for good behavior), probably not very cute after eating prison food for ten years, and a felon, which will make her so unemployable as to make her a lot less hot, even to a depressed person with low self-esteem. All of which may blunt her ability to make someone else's life miserable again.

        2. Triggerfish

          Re: Stupid but?

          They were both sick and neither one was getting the medical attention that they needed

          People who commit suicide are often quite good at hiding their intentions from people, or hide the reasons why they contemplate it. There's a good chance he may not have gotten help because no one else realised he needed it.

          Likewise her bit of pscyhopathy is unique there may never have been a reason for people to suspect.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Stupid but?

            > People who commit suicide are often quite good at hiding their intentions from people

            He came from an island

            Then he died from the street

            And he hurt so bad like a soul breakin'

            But he never said nothin' to me

            RIP Chris and Andrew

        3. kevinonh

          Re: Stupid but?

          RE: "What good is twenty years in jail going to do?"

          It is justice; it is punishment; and it is a warning to others.

          The reason for the unusual nature of the trial is that MA state law doesn't appear to have a law in place to cover assisted suicide or a law that requires a requirement to help save a life. So manslaughter was the best that the state could do, and it may not hold up on appeal: it's a stretch. Does her conduct represent a minimum acceptable standard in our society? Clearly not; assuming that she isn't insane but is merely an amoral narcissist with a depraved indifference to human life. If there is any justice, she needs to be shut off from the rest of society, and the full weight of the justice system needs to forcefully educate her on what it is to be a human being.

          As a warning to others, this sentence cannot be more clear. Hopefully, the legislature will consider this case and add to state Law. It may prevent others from making similar choices.

      2. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Stupid but?

        "I've often been extremely sad, never to the point of suicide"
        You've not been depressed then. When you decide that suicide is the solution to your problem, you cheer up considerably. Friends and relatives of suicides frequently remark on the cheerfulness during the period immediately prior to the suicide.

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. LDS Silver badge

      if the positions had been reversed and the boyfriend had talked his girlfriend into it

      In this case, all the media would be firing against the 'bro culture' who made a girl commit suicide, instead of someone trying to say it was 'free speech'

      In many relationships I saw psychological abuse to be as much evil and dangerous as physical one, just less visible, and the gender doesn't really matter.

    6. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Stupid but?

      "but did it rise to the level of manslaughter"

      depends on how that's defined in a Massachusetts courtroom. And after the appeals, it will be clarified.

      I think most people would regard what she did as SOME kind of crime. But don't worry, politicians will "harumph" because "something MUST be done", and make this more complicated than it needs to be.

    7. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Stupid but?

      Encouragement to commit suicide which is illegal everywhere in the US. The trial probably took such a long time because texts.

      1. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

        Re: Stupid but?

        I always thought the reason suicide is illegal in the US is so that the police can forcibly detain one for treatment given an unsuccessful attempt. Not sure how I feel about that...

        On the one hand I mentored a guy who had a rough go of his early life and really got himself together. Left the service, went to school, got hired and was doing well until a security clearance RE-investigation got his clearance pulled because 15yrs in the past he had been taken into custody for threatening to off himself. Note that he did report the depression issues to the man in the first place... we ALL knew of and respected his struggles and victory... no blackmail material here! But we ended up firing him anyways. W.T.F., over??? That helps who? How?

        The flip side is that I had to convince a sibling to voluntarily surrender to a state hospital. Violent, out of control, totally f'ed up at the time. Hadn't yet been convicted of any crime so there was no way to get him treatment unless he volunteered. Any idea how freakin' hard it is to convince a manic depressive in an epic manic swing that they have a problem, not the rest of us? And that the incredible rush is a problem in the first place? In that kind of situation I can understand why the courts want some leverage in mental health crises.

        But is criminalization the answer?

        Good news: 18 years on my brother is doing great. The guy I hired and mentored crashed after losing job / career setback. Spouse was un-freakin-helpful. But now he's doing OK.

  6. Alan Johnson

    Unwise decision?

    She is a despicable person and I feel she should be punished but as a precedent does this make sense?

    Does it make sense that manslaughter applies if someone tries to convince someone else to commit suicide but does not physically assist? Ultimately one person decided to take his own life. He may have been influenced by another but the decision was his. What if I publish a book in favour of euthenasia am I guilty for any subsequent suicides or mercy killings?

    Logically how can it be involuntary manslaughter? The evidence was that her actions and the outcome were entirely volumtary, preplanned and what she intended.

    1. Kaltern Silver badge

      Re: Unwise decision?

      Because, despite everything else we already know about what happened, he TOLD her what he was doing. To quote from the article:

      Carter later texted a friend and told her she was "talking on the phone with him when he killed himself ... I heard him die."

      If you are in a position to prevent a death, and you are clearly aware of the absolute circumstances, as she was being on the phone with him, and you CHOOSE to not life a finger to help, that is clearly the same as CHOOSING to shoot them.

      It's pretty much the same situation if you could press a button to let someone live. If you decline to press it, knowing full well the outcome of your inaction, it's just as bad as if you pressed the button to kill them instead.

      1. maxregister

        Re: Unwise decision?

        "It's pretty much the same situation if you could press a button to let someone live. If you decline to press it, knowing full well the outcome of your inaction, it's just as bad as if you pressed the button to kill them instead."

        That may be true on a moral level, but on a legal level in the US you have no obligation to help anyone. You are well within your rights to do nothing.

        Now, actively making the situation worse as she did, is a completely different matter.

    2. Snorlax Silver badge

      Re: Unwise decision?

      "Logically how can it be involuntary manslaughter?"

      Criminally negligent manslaughter is a type of involuntary manslaughter.

      Look it up.

    3. BillG Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: Unwise decision?

      @Alan Johnson wrote: Logically how can it be involuntary manslaughter? The evidence was that her actions and the outcome were entirely volumtary, preplanned and what she intended.

      I agree here. Involuntary manslaughter is when someone is killed WITHOUT "malice aforethought", She had the deliberate intention of killing him.

      This wasn't an accident, she VOLUNTARILY killed him. IMO she should have been charged with Voluntary Manslaughter because she deliberately caused his death.

      OTOH, maybe the prosecution was concerned that it was easier to get a conviction this way.

    4. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Unwise decision?

      "Logically how can it be involuntary manslaughter? The evidence was that her actions and the outcome were entirely volumtary, preplanned and what she intended." - You would need to read the state law on murder/manslaughter and the sentences for each type. Shysters are not known to use English but something that looks like English aka Shyster.

    5. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Unwise decision?

      Its one thing if it was an isolated incident - like someone shouting "jump" to a stranger on a ledge above. She had been encouraging him to kill himself for months, berating him when he'd fail to do so, etc. I'd argue she'd be less guilty if she handed someone a loaded gun used to murder someone, even though that would be a more clear cut case legally.

  7. Alistair Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Arrrrrrgh.

    So -- I'll admit that we've managed to screw this lot of <teen<->twenties> kids up massively.

    <I've already ranted on that>.

    This one -- I want to say make her do all 20 standing on her hands in the corner. But that wont solve the problem long term - What blows me away is just how little has been made of this case....

    Having two younger "family" members both attempt suicide at ridiculously young ages, I am thankful to the true friends of both that alerted parents of the situations. It terrifies me to think that the sociopathic mentality exhibited here might have been active instead of the caring that was shown to my 'family'. I suspect *that* colours my rage against this individual.

    (FWIW, Celexa either does *very good things* or *doesn't work at all* in the cases I've seen it applied, it CERTAINLY doesn't induce delusion, and I'm not talking one or three observed cases.)

    re: the quotes around family. Not my direct family, but in the group that I *consider* family.

    1. Trilkhai

      Re: Arrrrrrgh.

      I was curious, so I did a quick search: it's incredibly rare (under 1% of users) but delusions are an identified side-effect of Celexa. I don't know enough about precisely what she said or how her boyfriend had acted to say whether it's a realistic explanation.

      While I've never taken Celexa, I can unfortunately attest that some anti-depressants can cause side-effects that are so rare as to not be formally listed, just discussed among patients. In my case, the drug is Wellbutrin — after the first few days, my suicidal depression changed into a constant state of cold, unempathic rage. I took some of my anxiety medication (Neurontin) out of desperation, and thankfully it cleared away the bizarre anger.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Arrrrrrgh.

        I have taken Celexa. It seemed to work by preventing me from giving a fuck about depressing things, worries, responsibilities, joyous things, or anything. I can imagine how it might have tipped the balance in this case. It's far from harmless. Doctors should really stop giving it out to kids like candy.

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: Arrrrrrgh.

          "Doctors should really stop giving [anti-depressants] out to kids like candy."
          Or anybody else for that matter. Worst experience of my life being on EfexorX and the withdrawal from it.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Arrrrrrgh.

        Neurontin isn't typically prescribed as an anti-anxiety medication, it's:

        Neurontin (gabapentin) is an anti-epileptic medication, also called an anticonvulsant. Gabapentin affects chemicals and nerves in the body that are involved in the cause of seizures and some types of pain.

        Neurontin is used in adults to treat nerve pain caused by herpes virus or shingles (herpes zoster).

        Neurontin is also used to treat seizures in adults and children who are at least 3 years old.

        https://www.drugs.com/neurontin.html

        It can also be a complete bastard to get off given the side effects and withdrawal, be very careful with that one, I speak from experience

  8. Chris G Silver badge

    Evil Bitch

    The clincher here, is the fact that after all the encouragement to kill himself, she sat there on the phone and listened to his death. No remorse, change of mind to make a call to emergency services or his family, nothing, just let him die.

    Whether mentally ill or not she needs to be taken out of society.

    I wonder if 20 years will change her for the better?

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Evil Bitch

      "I wonder if 20 years will change her for the better?" - I doubt the underlying issue will go away. What might happen is she realizes there definite boundaries for one's actions and if does not want to end up in the pokey again obey them.

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: Evil Bitch

        "I wonder if 20 years will change her for the better?"

        Everyone I know who's spent time in jail come out with a much better knowledge of how to stay out of jail while continuing their criminal behavior. One mate went to jail for a couple of ounces of weed and came out with a list of wholesalers and contacts for distribution. He's happily retired now.

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        "What might happen is she realizes there definite boundaries for one's actions "

        She's going to do 20 years in a high security prison as an adult.

        I'm sure she'll try playing the other inmates.

        If she succeeds she might end up running the place.

        OTOH someone could resort to "behaviour modification" by just stabbing her.

        I'd suggest those are the boundaries of her actions.

  9. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    "..and wishing she could have done more. "

    I'd say she did quite enough.

    If (as her defense team claimed) this was an adverse drug reaction that would suggest this drug should be withdrawn from the market.

    Is "Can cause user to develop systems of a narcissistic psychopathic personality disorder" an acceptable side effect for its benefits?

    Or of course she just has a narcissistic psychopathic personality disorder.

    Note that word "disorder." Disorders cannot be cured. Their sufferers can be taught to cope with the effects of them to behave in more acceptable ways in society. IE not inciting someone to kill themselves.

    Provided they actually feel behaving as they do is not good for them and they want to change.

    Unfortunately AFAIK most of them don't. They quite like it.

    1. Alistair Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: "..and wishing she could have done more. "

      I don't think that NPPD is still in the active diagnostics. Narcissism is created. Sociopathy is inherent.

      (however when I were a lad it was on the books. At the ripe old age of 9 I was granted that title by an arrogant little shit of a psychologist. And spent 4 years working it off with a psychiatrist who made a hell of a lot more sense to me.)

  10. Alistair Silver badge

    Celexa

    Is a Selective Serotonin Re-Uptake Inhibitor (SSRI in the pharma lingo). If you look up "what is an SSRI" and have an iota of logic in your understanding of neuropathy, you will understand why I would have been laughing in the defense's face with that line of defence.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    6 months away at most

    It's the US, and she's a murderer.

    She'll probably be out in 6 months or so for one reason or another...

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: 6 months away at most

      "She'll probably be out in 6 months or so for one reason or another..." - No, you do the whole time for killing men, had the gender roles been reversed you'd probably be correct.

      1. Snorlax Silver badge

        Re: 6 months away at most

        @Version 1.0: No, you do the whole time for killing men, had the gender roles been reversed you'd probably be correct.

        Fuck off back to Tumblr with that crap, will ya?

  12. Tikimon Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Prime sociopath, not forgiveable "sick girl"

    Let's see. No conscience, no empathy, manipulative to the point of destroying the target. Compulsive attention-seeker and willing to do heinous things to get it. Coldly induced a guy to suicide, calmly listened to him die, then immediately started the "poor me" routine.

    At least sociopath, if not psycho. Which is chemical and not her fault being that way. However, even anti-socials know Right from Wrong if only to fit in with the rest of us. Deliberate premeditated act of murder, no excuses.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    From an ex jury

    i saw the eyes and tried to understand a man across in a glass cage. for weeks .. trying to figure out why he killed and if there was a trace of remorse or regret about killing the victim, something that might save his neck from first degree. Nothing ever came out. Some people have no excuses. None .. Attenuating circumstances ? None. What they done is despicable , selfish , and in society , intolerable. Whether it's a phone or a hammer or a knife, the means is of no consequence. It's what they done with it that matters.

    I'm glad that she was condemned. A cell is a safety and convenience device not a weapon for murder.

    .... she wont climb the stairway to the gallows .. and it's a shame.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    did she kill him ... no

    did she convince him to kill himself .. prob .. but how much convincing does a soft arse need ?

    if she was texting for weeks ? din't anyone realise what was going on ?

    sorry Darwinism at it's best .. should she go to jail yes .. 7 yrs ..

  15. azaks

    clutching at straws

    " her defense team focused on the fact that two years earlier she had sought help for Roy and repeatedly encouraged him not to try to kill himself."

    That's a bit like arguing that someone had spent their whole life not robbing banks and so should be forgiven for their recent mishap...

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: clutching at straws

      I'd say it's more like evidence that the person is not well, confused and struggling with things herself.

  16. ultrastarx1

    Do you have kids?

    I'm disgusted by how this girl acted.

    I couldn't convict her of murder.

    We all forget how case law has implications way beyond the original case.

    The case against her would have been stronger for me if she had broken 'forum' rules.

    When it comes to it, to protect young adults from similar charges, remembering how badly people can behave when something such as love is in involved surely..

    Did she get another phone number or account after he blocked her or black listed her, did she go out of her way to make initial contacts, or respond to unwanted attention ?

    If you took every teenage girl and in fact woman who told someone to f*** off and die, right to their face, multiple times,well, I think you start to see the problem, if we include the internet, phone calls and txts, I think a third of the population could soon be banged up. Men have been so marginalised by feminism, they now think it's normal to beg for attention, and think they can do no better than a vile princess. If every message a girl sends back is please stop, the guys a stalker, if every message is I hope you die, she's a murderer?

    It's the pursuit that's the crime?

    Words aren't bullets.

    People can write about being in favour of assisted suicide without fear?

    People were never meant to have this level of contact once a relationship ended, technology has yet again opened another door.

    But the thing is if this problem could have been sorted by a power cut, murder? Really?

    Say your child has a really bad day, and txts everyone in their year at school to kill themselves in a group chat or some such, and they do it 20 times over a weekend, is serial killer on the cards, or do we have to draw a line.

    Not acting is horrible but it isn't acting, words can be horrible but they are words, and whilst your picking the laptop keys out of the creases in your face(long night), you don't know what your kids are up to.

    Right, wrong, murder, teaching a teen that they aren't allowed to become emotionally upset when stalked, sure you can do it, but in the heat of the moment, a moment that lasts months, when they are up at midnight on their phone as usual, are you really that sure your willing to take the chance.

    Yours a dad of 2 kids to young for phones.

    1. Kaltern Silver badge

      Re: Do you have kids?

      I.. what?

      She LISTENED TO HIM DIE AND DID NOTHING ABOUT IT.

      That's the only part of this sorry story that matters. Even if she didn't tell him to do it, over months of texts and calls, urging him to do it.

      When you are cold/unstable enough to listen to someone die, especially considering she's supposed to be in 'love' with the guy, you need to be removed from society.

      Especially considering she then tried to make out she was all anti-suicide and suchlike... that's pretty deranged callousness. And by all accounts, she was even 'trying out' for the role of suicide victim.

      There is room in the world for forgiveness and understanding. Just not in this case.

      1. ultrastarx1

        Re: Do you have kids?

        Millions watch videos of beheading online, people stop to look at car accidents, the possibility of being swept up in the moment exists in more people than possibly you would believe. It's not about this case it's about precedent setting.

        It's funny but people only ever seem to think when it happens again it will be worse, but the implications are the next person doesn't listen to them die, but is swept up in the same, but they weren't even there legislation.

        I say track everyone who watches online mutalation and murder, obviously something wrong with those people.

      2. P. Lee Silver badge

        Re: Do you have kids?

        >She LISTENED TO HIM DIE AND DID NOTHING ABOUT IT.

        I'm curious about what that sounds like. Not from a morbid POV but I'd be curious to know whether I'd actually recognise it for what it was, over a phone, from someone who had repeatedly threatened to kill themselves. Would I think they really were dying or would I think they were attention-seeking and only realise afterwards what it was?

        It does appear she's not a nice person and certainly has moral culpability. I do somewhat worry about whether this should carry over into legal culpability. If you accidentally text, "drop dead" to the wrong number and they do kill themselves, are you liable? At what point does liability become a thing? If she was a minor, what responsibility do her parents have? What responsibility did his parents have?

        And what of the sentence? Will it be punitive? If she got 20 years, would that actually help anyone? Would a shorter sentence be "protective"? Do we decide she'll always be a danger because she's a sociopath and lock her up forever? How far into "pre-crime" do we go?

        I guess my concern is that hard cases make bad law. Whatever happens, I hope this case doesn't create more bad law.

    2. Snorlax Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Do you have kids?

      @ultrastarx1: "Say your child has a really bad day, and txts everyone in their year at school to kill themselves in a group chat or some such, and they do it 20 times over a weekend, is serial killer on the cards, or do we have to draw a line."

      Maybe you have failed as a parent if your child's response to "a really bad day" is to repeatedly message her classmates to kill themselves? Of course, feel free not to take any responsibility for your child's actions - lots of parents go with that these days...

      I hate to drag out the old snowflake trope, but too many parents teach their kids that they're "special", that they deserve x, y or z, or argue with teachers/sports coaches/authority figures at the sign of a perceived slight.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Do you have kids?

      Sorry, that was way to "feely" for my stomach to handle. I need some pink liquid now...

      take the 'hardass' approach on crime with kids. they'll respect you (and not commit crimes). "If I ever find out you XXX I'll call the cops myself." Make sure you follow through. Tell them about this long before the potential arises. They'll always know you'll do it. chances of actual crimes, from drugs to pushing someone to suicide, will be a hell of a lot lower. By the time they grow up, they will have grown used to the idea of disciplining themselves, and there you have it.

      getting my coat now. I ran out of pink liquid.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Do you have kids?

        ""If I ever find out you XXX I'll call the cops myself." " would be fine except that then they are marked for life even if they do learn later.

        To my mind if your children commit crimes then you failed as a parent and it is you that should be punished along with or rather than your children.

        Learning acceptable behaviour is something that mostly happens at home, perhaps you should have limited their access to media which protrays criminal acts as acceptable or stopping promoting them. You cannot act out if you have never seen the behaviour you are emulating.

  17. GrapeBunch Bronze badge

    When support didn't snap him out of the destructive spiral, maybe she tried reverse psychology--and went too far. But then I wasn't in the court room to hear the whole story.

  18. -tim

    Munchausen syndrome by proxy?

    This sounds much like Munchausen syndrome by proxy with a twist of at least one other mental health issue. That tends to be very rare and mostly women abusing their children or and adult abusing an elderly parent but I've never heard of someone abusing a boyfriend.

    Some of the psychiatric pharmaceuticals can have very strange effects. The turn on and turn off thresholds for different symptoms can differ by ratios of 1:100. The half life of drugs that pass the blood–brain barrier is often measured in months which means by the time the shrink discontinues a drug, it can take years before a side effects disappears. Most non-psychiatric drugs have half lives in the range of hours. There seems to be a strong lack of understanding of how to do proper half life calculations from medical students based on the tutoring I did.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Munchausen syndrome by proxy?

      an odd, but interesting analysis. But I wouldn't blame the drugs. I'd blame the drama queen.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The only way you can force anyone to do anything is by standing over them with a weapon

    He chose to commit suicide, his choice.

    Everyone seems intent on blaming his decision on someone other than him, when as the title says you can't make anyone do anything unless they want to.

    Yes, the parents, friends and the mental health people failed to predict his decision (and take action) but ultimately if someone wants to kill themselves then without constant supervision and restraint then they will manage it.

    So you are left with taking away his ability to act (freedom) or you can accept that he has a right to commit suicide if he really wants to and ultimately the decision was his.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The only way you can force anyone to do anything is by standing over them with a weapon

      Unfortunately, these days the logic (as displayed by many on this forum), is that the problem is always someone else's fault. So they've got to blame someone else.

  20. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Factor in suicidal people are not exactly thinking rationally.

    A rational person would indeed have realized that someone who's encouraging them to kill themselves probably does not exactly have their best interests at heart.

    Shock news. Depressed people have a distorted view of their relationship to the world (and wheather or not it will change) , to the point where killing themselves actually seems like quite a good idea.

    You can't understand it.

    I can't understand it.

    But it seems like a good idea to them.

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: Factor in suicidal people are not exactly thinking rationally.

      Actually one study I read showed the people with depression were actually more aware of the world around them. Essentially they had greater clarity than non-depressed people. I think the principle of "better a comforting lie..." is relevant here.

      Paranoid people have a distorted view of their relationship to the world. Paranoia and depression can co-exist. But depressed people often seem to lack the delusional self-importance and unfounded optimism that keeps the rest of us going.

    2. Bucky 2

      Re: Factor in suicidal people are not exactly thinking rationally.

      I'm not sure you're right about suicidal being the same as irrational.

      Sometimes you'll get worried that maybe you aren't thinking clearly, and you'll tell somebody what you're thinking about. And they'll get pissed, and believe you're being a drama queen and emotionally manipulative. Sometimes they won't say it. But you can see it in their eyes. And you think about it, and you completely understand their point of view: If you were truly, authentically, "suicidal," you be dead right now, not talking to them. Rationally, you evaluate yourself as a fraud.

      Rationally, your misgivings about whether you're thinking clearly are now are proved to be nothing other than cowardice. The choice you're struggling with is proven to be how much longer you're going to pretend that anything you do or anything you are is worthwhile.

      Rationally, of course, not forever. At the outside, you're still mortal. You're going to die eventually. And as long as it's going to happen eventually, there's really no rational point in drawing it out artificially.

      Maybe you haven't seen the Wonder Woman movie yet, so you'll want to see that at some point. And you want to see the final Avengers movie. But that's kinda it. Eventually, you know you're going to run out of stuff. The only control you have over your future at that point is how much you're going to put up with the crap -- how long you're going to be eating 3 kinds of antidepressants every day just to stay functional. Is that anyway to live? Rationally speaking? How much longer can you keep it up? Rationally speaking?

      1. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

        Re: Factor in suicidal people are not exactly thinking rationally.

        Bucky 2,

        I think your post nails it; have upvote and a smooth IPA.

        Suspect a lot of persons posting here are not yet at the middle age point where you realize your mental and physical health are not guaranteed, and indeed are rather limited, nonrenewable resources.

        Been through a quick walk with cancer and know its waiting for me around the corner. Barring any sudden accidents its pretty obvious how this show will end.

        Thinking rationally about suicide... at some level it can and will be done by many at some point. At what point is the financial and emotional burden of one's continued existence going to outweigh any advantages to others of being around? How much pain is too much pain before you lose tour humanity? When hope becomes illogical, what is one living for? Is there really any honor in suffering?

        Yeah, one is not supposed to make decisions when depressed. But guess when most of the real decisions must be made?

        What one could use then is a partner who can help with the decisionmaking. Ideally offer unconditional love and support...

        What this gal did is evil. Was the guy's pain so great that he couldnt be saved or go on? Who knows... only he knows his suffering and took it to the grave. Im not prepared to seconf guess his decision. But this ... girl ... just treated him like a broken toy and basically threw away his life like so much litter. Nobody deserves a partner like that; Im glad she is heading to prison.

        BTW, I dont believe prison reforms anything - I just want to get her away from society as long as possible.

  21. Bitbeisser

    Let's just hope she won't be eligible for parol for a LONG time...

  22. Winkypop Silver badge
    Unhappy

    "repeatedly urged and encouraged"

    There's ya problem

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Still, not a bad looker, eh?

    Would.

  24. scrubber

    Future Supreme Court case

    Where they will find that the first amendment protects this speech despite the horrific outcome in this instance.

    SCOTUS is extremely wary of listing free speech after they made a complete arse of it during WW1 leading to the idiotic trope that "you can't shout fire in a theatre" when you clearly can without getting arrested (in the US, the UK has a breach of peace law that it may fall under).

    1. PapaD

      Re: Future Supreme Court case

      I think people really misunderstand the idea of freedom of speech.

      In the US, you can say whatever you want - freedom of speech though doesn't mean freedom from consequences - so if your 'speech' results in another's death, or gets you punched - well you'll just need to deal with those consequences.

      Getting convicted of a crime because you said something stupid (like inciting a riot) isn't an abridgement of your freedom of speech - its just a consequence.

      1. scrubber

        Re: Future Supreme Court case

        Absolute fucking nonsense. If anyone hits you for what you say they ho to jail for assault. If anyone harms another because of what you said then it has to be obvious to an impartial, reasonable observer that that was a likely or intended outcome - and even then it still has to be what a reasonable person would do, i.e. winding up religious or political nutjobs is unlikely (but not impossible) to count but offering payment to criminals does.

        And you don't understand the first thing about freedom of speech if you think there are state consequences for it. It is criminal in very listed circumstances, VERY limited. Everything else is untouchable and it is the state's job to protect you from criminal consequences. Not social consequences though, you can be ostracised quite freely. Coincidentally also protected by freedom of association in the first amendment :)

        1. PapaD

          Re: Future Supreme Court case

          I just said consequences - If you tell some guy that you want to have sex with (in a cruder way)his daughter, and he punches you out - sure, he committed a crime, but hey, you're protected freedom of speech resulted in a consequence, now you have to cope with it. You certainly aren't protected from it.

          If you had true freedom of speech, you wouldn't have libel or slander laws either - both of which are potential consequences of utilising your legally granted freedom of speech.

          You can say what you want, just be aware there are consequences - that doesn't mean legal or criminal, it just means consequences (like being ostracised, as you said)

          However, if you incite another to commit a crime, then you may very well end up facing criminal charges (the classic example being the incitement to terrorist action - convincing someone to blow themselves up in a public place isn't an allowed freedom, its conspiracy to commit a crime)

  25. Snar

    Sad..

    My condolences to his family.

    I was walking home from school back in the early 80's and a girl was perched on a window ledge. A lot of kids gathered and started chanting "jump...jump...jump" and the poor girl did. It was horrible. I didn't chant a thing I just ran home after I heard the impact.

    It just shows how evil people can be. I'm glad I don't have that on my conscience.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Somebody somewhere is looking at the TV/Film rights to this - you can just feel it.

  27. Kaltern Silver badge

    I think some people here spend too much time in their server rooms and have become de-sensitised to the real world.

    I pray you don't develop suicidal thoughts to the point one small tip over the edge would be enough for you to take that final step.

    Because anyone who can blame the victim here needs to go outside and remember what reality is like, and not what reality is according to the Daily Mail - or whatever source of warped news you choose to read.

    I wonder if some people don't think that terrorism is just a bunch of misunderstood folks, who really just need a friendly hug and a cup of tea.

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