Judge to announce his decision in Michelle Carter trial Friday morning
A judge will announce his decision in the Michelle Carter trial Friday at 11 a.m.
NBC 10 learned the news late Thursday afternoon.
Juvenile Court Judge Lawrence Moniz will make his ruling in the manslaughter case at the Taunton Trial Court.
Carter, a 20-year-old woman from Plainville, Massachusetts, has been accused of sending text messages to her boyfriend, 18-year-old Conrad Roy III, encouraging him to kill himself.
Roy was found dead from carbon monoxide poisoning in his pickup truck in 2014 in Fairhaven.
During the trial, Dr. Peter Breggin, a psychiatrist who looked at Carter's medical records and interviewed friends and family, testified that Carter was under the influence of antidepressants when urging Roy to kill himself.
"She thought she was this grand, helping person who was going to help her boyfriend get what he wanted and then help his parents overcome their grief and manage this whole situation," Breggin testified.
But Prosecutor Katie Rayburn tried to discredit Breggin, saying he did not look at all of Carter's medical records. She also tried to portray him as biased, asking about Breggin's books in which he says U.S. law is unjust.
Prosecutors said the then-17-year-old Carter pressured Roy to take his own life through a torrent of text messages. They say she told Roy to "get back in" his truck when he became frightened while trying to kill himself with carbon monoxide.
Carter's lawyer has argued that Roy had attempted suicide previously and made his own decision to take his life. He has also said that she initially tried to talk him out of it.
The defense waived the right to a jury trial, so Moniz will decide the case.
A press release noted that Moniz, 60, “has years of experience as a trial attorney and advocate in the juvenile court.” He is a former partner of the Taunton law firm O’Boy and Moniz.
“Highly regarded by the Bristol Bar for his work in some of the region’s most difficult child abuse and neglect cases, Moniz began his legal career after working thirteen years as an English high school teacher in Taunton,” according to the release.
Carter faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
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