Her family say she was trying to help him. Prosecutors say she urged him to take his own life.
Warning: This post contains details of suicide and may be very distressing and difficult for some readers. If you need help please phone Lifeline on 13 11 14.
It is the first case of its kind – a teenager charged with involuntary manslaughter for allegedly encouraging her boyfriend to suicide.
The teenager, 18-year-old Michelle Carter, from Massachusetts, in the US, is said to have urged her boyfriend Conrad Roy, also 18 to take his own life.
The relationship between the two – though they referred to each other as “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” was largely online.
They met two years before Conrad’s death – speaking mainly over the Internet and via text message.
According to court documents the relationship was secret from many who knew them, even Conrad’s best friend was unaware of it.
In more than 1,000 messages between the two police have argued that Michelle urged Conrad to take his own life.
One particularly chilling message stands out.
The Washington Post reports that at one stage when 18-year old Conrad told his girlfriend he was scared and had gotten out of the truck where he would later be found dead. She responded: “Get back in.”
Her family say that Michelle – a straight A student is being painted unfairly as a villain and she just tried to help Carter.
“She is a quiet, kind, and sympathetic young girl. She tried immensely to help Mr. Roy in his battle with depression. We know that once all of the facts are released, our daughter will be found innocent.”
But a lengthy ream of text messages might be her undoing.
Court documents have shown that between July 6 and July 12, 2014 the text messages between the two turned to talk of suicide.
At one point Michelle texting him:
“I think your parents know you’re in a really bad place. I’m not saying they want you to do it but I honestly feel like they can accept it.
They know there is nothing they can do. They’ve tried helping. Everyone’s tried, but there is a point that comes where there isn’t anything anyone can do to save you, not even yourself.
And you’ve hit that point and I think your parents know you’ve hit that point. You said your mom saw a suicide thing on your computer and she didn’t say anything. I think she knows it’s on your mind and she’s prepared for it.
Everyone will be sad for a while but they will get over it and move on. They won’t be in depression. I won’t let that happen. They know how sad you are, and they know that you are doing this to be happy and I think they will understand and accept it.
They will always carry you in their hearts.
His response, “Aww. Thank you, Michelle.”
The two had met through a family connection years earlier. Conrad, described as a popular, funny athlete was struggling with anxiety and depression but his family believed he would be able to pick himself up and go to college.