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Atlanta Criminal Defense Lawyers > Blog > Criminal Defense > Woman Sentenced In Texting Suicide Case

Woman Sentenced In Texting Suicide Case

Michelle Carter is a name that has been in the news frequently in the past few months. The young woman was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter after the suicide of her boyfriend. Just last week, the woman was sentenced to 15 months in jail but remains free as her lawyers appeal the sentence.

During the sentencing, Judge Lawrence Moniz, said, in part, “This court must and has balanced between rehabilitation, the promise that rehabilitation would work and a punishment for the actions that have occurred.” People across the country, on social media and watching the news, held their breath as the judge read his order: a two-and-a-half year sentence with 15 months suspended and 15 months to serve.

Carter’s attorney immediately filed a motion to stay the sentence while attorneys appealed. The judge granted that motion, and Carter remains free.

Prior to handing down a sentence, the judge listened to statements from relatives of the deceased young man. A sister and both parents provided statements to the court, either in person or in writing, outlining their sorrow and loss. The district attorney had recommended a jail sentence of up to 12 years, though the woman faced a maximum of 20 years behind bars.

Details of the Criminal Case

In the original case, it was shown that, through a series of text messages, Carter encouraged her boyfriend to commit suicide. At one point, the young man faltered, and Carter told him to complete the deed. Prosecutors say that Carter was a young woman who desperately craved attention and when her boyfriend killed himself, it was that attention she received. In closing arguments during the case, prosecutors said that Carter went from offering words of kindness to aggressive encouragement. At the end of his life, the young man was apologizing to Carter for not being dead yet.

It is expected that this case could lead to new legislation throughout the country. There are laws that make it a crime to coerce or encourage suicide in 40 states, and Massachusetts may soon pass a similar law. The punishment for those who violate the law is unknown. What is believed, however, is that in this case, the young man would still be alive if Carter had reached out to his family or otherwise tried to get him help instead of encouraging him to end his life.

Both families were in court during the sentencing, obviously emotional. Prosecutors said that there are no winners in this case. Two families have been affected for the rest of their lives.

If you are arrested for a crime in DeKalb County, you need an experienced defense attorney on your side. A conviction could not only land you in prison, but it could affect your life for the years to come. Call our office today and schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation. We will review the details of your arrest and offer you options that make sense for your unique situation.

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