TAUNTON, Mass. -- (WBZ) -- The prosecution and defense made closing arguments Tuesday morning in the trial of a Plainville teen accused of encouraging her friend’s suicide.
Michelle Carter is charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection to the death of Carter Roy, who was found dead in his truck of carbon monoxide poisoning in 2014.
On Roy’s phone were a series of text messages and phone calls from Carter that prosecutors say show how she was pushing Roy to commit suicide.
Defense attorney Joseph Cataldo said in his closing arguments that Roy chose to take his own life, and that Carter can’t be held responsible for it.
“It’s sad, it’s tragic,” Cataldo said. “But it’s just not a homicide.”
He pointed to a text to Carter in which Roy wrote, “There is nothing anyone can do to make me want to live.”
But prosecutor Katie Rayburn laid out the case in her closing that Carter bullied Roy into killing himself, even berating him when he said he didn’t want to go through with suicide.
“Every time he came up with an excuse not to do it, she kicked his feet from under him,” said Rayburn.
Prosecutors allege Carter pushed Roy to commit suicide because she was desperate for attention from classmates, and wanted to play the role of a grieving girlfriend.
Rayburn said Carter even asked Roy to write her a suicide note -- a note she later offered to show classmates.
Those classmates, who testified last week, said they were surprised Carter was so open with them, because they were not close.
Rayburn also pointed to Carter’s texts to her friend Samantha Boardman in which she said she felt responsible for Roy’s death–and admitted she was afraid of the discovery of her texts to him.
“If they read my messages I’m done,” the texts read. “His family will hate me and I’ll go to jail.”
With closing arguments made, the court went into recess until Judge Lawrence Moniz could make a decision.
Carter waived her right to a jury trial, meaning members of the community won’t decide her guilt or innocence; Judge Moniz will now act as jury.
Earlier in the day during defense testimony, psychiatrist Dr. Peter Breggin described how Carter believed she was helping Roy, and how the antidepressants she was taking may have influenced her actions.
“She thought she was this grand, helping person who was going to help her boyfriend get what he wanted,” he said.
Dr. Breggin testified that Carter was prescribed Celexa for depression, and said that medication could affect impulse control.
On Monday, the defense tried to paint a picture of a teenager who was desperately trying to help her boyfriend while she needed help herself.
The prosecution, however, argued that Carter was pressuring and manipulating Roy.
Prosecutor Katie Rayburn continued pushing Dr. Breggin about how Carter could have been delusional when it came to how she treated Roy, but not delusional about other things.
The defense rested their case Tuesday morning after Breggin’s testimony ended.