How a chain of text messages led to one teen's death and another one's trial

Michelle Carter

When two teenagers started exchanging text messages, they probably didn’t expect them to be read by anybody but themselves.

But after the string of texts led to the one teen’s suicide, months worth of deeply disturbing messages are now being aired publicly in a Massachusetts courtroom.

Michelle Carter, 20, is charged with involuntary manslaughter after sending hundreds of texts that the prosecution says encouraged her 17-year-old boyfriend Conrad Roy III to kill himself in 2014. It will be up to a judge to determine whether she is legally responsible for his death by the end of this week.

Here is the chain of events that led up to the trial:

  • In 2012, Carter and Roy were both teenagers when they met while taking family vacations in Florida. Both lived in Massachusetts and, at the end of their holiday, started talking to each other over Facebook and text.
  • In October 2012, Roy’s parents divorced and he attempted to commit suicide. Court evidence found that Roy had been both physically and verbally abused and once referred to himself as “no-good trash” and “an abortion.”
  • While Carter also struggled with body image and severe anxiety, court experts described her as more positive than Roy. She would regularly listen to him as he shared his worries. In 2014, she wrote to a friend that she was “kinda going thru my own stuff but if I leave him he will probably kill himself and it would be all my fault.”
  • By July 2014, Carter switched from taking Prozac to Celexa for her anxiety and, according to a court psychiatrist, also shifted in her communications with Roy. “She’s thinking it’s a good thing to help him die,” psychiatrist Peter R. Breggin told The New York Times.
  • In the two weeks before Roy killed himself, Carter continued to send him lengthy texts. In one, she told him that he was strong enough to go along with it while adding that “everyone will be sad for a while but they will get over it and move on.”
  • Carter even wrote Roy possibilities of how he could kill himself, writing one could “hang yourself, jump off a building, stab yourself idk there’s a lot of ways.”
  • On July 10, Carter started texting Roy about how he could use the car generator of his pickup truck to commit suicide. At the same time, she was texting her friends that Roy had gone missing while still talking to him.
  • In the next two days, Carter would send Roy multiple texts saying he “just had to do it” and spoke to him by phone before texting another friend that Roy had gotten out of the car because he got scared and she “told him to get back in.”
  • On July 12, 2014, Roy died inside his car from carbon monoxide poisoning. He was found by the police the next day.
  • In the coming weeks, Carter organized a fundraising tournament in Roy’s honor and started calling herself a suicide prevention advocate trying to “save as many other lives as possible.”
  • As police started investigating the events that led up to Roy’s suicide, Carter was charged with involuntary manslaughter on March 5, 2015.
  • On June 6, 2017, lawyers presented opening statements in the trial, with Carter having waived her right to a trial by jury.
  • If the judge finds Carter responsible for helping Roy kill himself, she could face up to 20 years in prison.

SEE ALSO: Massachusetts woman charged with encouraging boyfriend’s suicide on trial for manslaughter

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'Criminal Minds': Damon Gupton Leaving CBS Series After One … – Deadline

Damon Gupton is departing Criminal Minds. Gupton joined the veteran CBS drama last fall, following the abrupt exit of original cast member Thomas Gibson.

Gupton was one of several new series regulars added this past season, along with Paget Brewster, who returned as a regular, reprising her role as Prentiss; Adam Rodriguez as FBI Agent Luke Alvez; and Aisha Tyler, who was promoted as Dr. Tara Lewis. It is unclear whether Criminal Minds will bring in a new regular cast member to fill the void left by Gupton’s exit.

Gupton’s departure is part of a creative change on the show. It was foreshadowed in the recent Season 12 finale, which finished with a cliffhanger, in which several agents, Gupton’s Walker, as well as Prentiss, Rossi, JJ, Tara and Alvez and Walker, were ambushed, with their SUVs getting their tires blowed out and then being rammed by an 18-wheeler at high speed.

Criminal Minds, from ABC Studios and CBS TV Studios, recently signed new deals with veterans Joe Mantegna and Matthew Gray Gubler for the upcoming 13th season. Meanwhile, Kirsten Vangsness and A.J. Cook have been holding out, seeking parity with their male co-stars.

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'Brilliant' criminal law expert joins Mueller's team on Russia probe – Chicago Tribune

One of the federal government’s top criminal law specialists is joining the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller III centered on possible coordination between President Donald Trump‘s associates and Russian officials.

Justice Department deputy solicitor general Michael Dreeben, who has argued more than 100 cases before the Supreme Court, is the department’s go-to lawyer on criminal justice cases and is highly respected by Democrats and Republicans because of his encyclopedic knowledge of criminal law.

Dreeben will work part time for Mueller, according to Justice officials, while he continues to oversee the department’s criminal appellate cases.

Former and current Justice Department officials say that Mueller’s recruitment of Dreeben shows how serious he is about the investigation and signals complexities in the probe.

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The Supreme Court just struck down a law favoring mothers over fathers in children’s citizenship cases

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The Supreme Court struck down on Monday a provision of a law that made it more difficult for unmarried fathers to pass their American citizenship onto kids born overseas.

In an unanimous 8-0 ruling, the Court decided that a section of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 — which required unwed American fathers to live in the US for at least five years after the age of 14 in order to grant citizenship to their kids, compared to only one for mothers — was unconstitutional.


“Those disparate criteria, we hold, cannot withstand inspection under a Constitution that requires the Government to respect the equal dignity and stature of its male and female citizens,” Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in the court’s opinion.

In the case, New York resident Luis Ramon Morales-Santana, who was born to a now-deceased American father and a Dominican mother, risked being deported to the Dominican Republic after committing a series of crimes in 1995.

Morales-Santana, who came to the US in 1975 as a lawful permanent resident, claimed that he was a US citizen because of his father. Though his father was an American citizen, he lived in the US for 20 days less than the five-year residency requirement.

Speaking for the rest of the court, Ginsburg wrote that such discrepancies came from a time when the husband was considered to be “dominant” while the mother was “the natural and sole guardian of a non-marital child.

The one-year residency requirement will now apply to both mothers and fathers looking to grant citizenship to their kids.

Despite striking down the section of the law, the Court said that it could not grant Morales-Santana citizenship and that would have to be decided by Congress.

SEE ALSO: GORSUCH CONFIRMED: Trump’s Supreme Court pick headed to the bench

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Who Is Exiting Criminal Minds For This Fall's Season 13? – Parade

Season 12 of Criminal Minds had quite the shakeup and saw the departure of Thomas Gibson, who had played Aaron Hotchner since the very first episode, and was fired at the beginning of the season after an altercation with a producer.

Paget Brewster (Emily Prentiss), who had only planned to guest star on several episodes during the season, once again, became a series regular and stepped into Hotchner’s job, running the BAU.

The CBS series had already had to replace Shemar Moore (Derek Morgan), who left of his own volition and will be returning to the eye network this fall in the new series S.W.A.T. That hole was filled by Adam Rodriguez who stepped in as Luke Alvez, restoring the beefcake factor to the show.

Criminal Minds Casts Thomas Gibson’s Replacement

For good measure, Damon Gupton was added as Stephen Walker by CBS, and it is Gupton who will be exiting after only one season on the FBI drama, according to TVLine. Gupton tweeted about it on Sunday saying, “I just lost my job,” in response to a tweet that gave him inspiration.

Criminal Minds showrunner  Erica Messer had earlier this year commented to TVLine: “It’s always a challenge to bring somebody new into a group that has functioned together as long as [the BAU has]. It’s like, ‘OK, what role needs to be filled?’ So we brought him in with a specialty in the espionage world.”

Gupton’s exit may be a result of storyline as the Season 12 finale ended with most of the BAU team’s lives in jeopardy as the SUVs they were traveling in to a crime scene were T-boned by an 18-wheeler courtesy of the big, bad Mr. Scratch (Bodhi Elfman).

But Gupton may not be the only one exiting the long-running drama. It has been previously reported that A.J. Cook (Jennifer “JJ” Jareau) and Kirsten Vangsness (Penelope Garcia) are in contract negotiations and are willing to walk away from their roles if they can’t make a satisfactory deal.

Adam Rodriguez Dishes on Joining Criminal Minds, Roxy, and Funny Moments with Kirsten Vangsness

Joe Mantegna (David Rossi), Brewster, and Matthew Gray Gubler (Dr. Spencer Reid) will be returning for sure, as will Aisha Tyler, who was promoted to a series regular last year.

Criminal Minds begins its new season on Wednesday, Sept. 27 on CBS.

NCIS to Lose Jennifer Esposito for Season 15

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John Dean: Trump Needs to Hire a Good Criminal Lawyer, Fast – Newsweek

This article first appeared on the Verdict site.

Former FBI Director James Comey delivered his much-anticipated testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, June 8, 2017.

I am back in Washington, D.C., wearing my CNN analyst/contributor hat, covering the proceedings.

Trump has hired a crony, a New York lawyer who has handled his divorces and defamation actions, rather than someone who knows the ways of Washington.

Trump and his lawyer’s response to Comey’s testimony is strange, to state it nicely.

First a bit of background.

James Comey’s testimony was as explosive as anticipated. Rather than read his prepared statement at the hearing, since it had been submitted to the committee the day before and had received wide press coverage, the former director gave the committee (as well as Donald Trump, who is never far from his 60-inch flat screen, and the watching world) a few thoughts he had not included in his statement.

There has been much debate since Comey was fired by Trump whether it was true as stated in the letter dismissing the FBI chief whether Trump had been told by Comey on three occasions, as he claimed, that he was not under investigation.

GettyImages-694220006 Donald Trump prepares to welcome President Klaus Iohannis of Romania to the White House for a ‘working visit’ June 9, 2017 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Comey quickly cleared up that the matter. He agreed that he had given President Trump information that the president might have believed were assurances that he was not under investigation, but he was only referring to a counterintelligence investigation.

In short, the FBI does not believe Trump is a spy or Russian agent, but the former director refused to say in open session whether the president is currently under criminal investigation.

By not absolving Trump of a criminal inquiry, it was very clear that what Comey was saying was that Trump is under investigation by the Special Counsel Mueller to determine whether he colluded with the Russian’s hacking of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential bid, and related matters. These related matters could include Trump’s financial ties to Russian oligarchs, which many Trump watchers believe could spell trouble, even if he was not involved in collusion. I will return to investigating Trump in a moment.

Notwithstanding the limited statements Comey made, twenty-four hours later Trump announced that he had been vindicated by Comey: No investigation. No collusion. Although Comey said neither, Trump heard both. But Trump’s delusion is much more serious.

Probably the most unprecedented moment in the Comey proceeding was when the former director called the President of the United States a liar. It happened on several occasions during his testimony, with Comey mincing no words when flat-out calling Trump a liar.

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Early in his remarks Comey said the first time he met Trump, he was uncomfortable. “I was honestly concerned he might lie about the nature of our meeting,” Comey added and explained that he started writing memos of his meetings with the president. “I knew that there might come a day where I might need a record of what happened, not just to defend myself and FBI and the integrity of our situation, and the independence of our function.”

Comey also said he believed the president lied about the reason he fired him: “The administration (read: the President) then chose to defame me—and, more importantly, the FBI—by saying the organization was in disarray and that it was poorly led, that the workforce had lost confidence in its leader. Those were lies, plain and simple.”

These are extraordinary charges from any former high official, and particularly a former FBI director, when the president appears still under investigation. Not surprisingly, before the day ended Trump struck back, as he would again the next day.

Trump’s private outside attorney, a longtime friend and lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, had come to Washington from New York, and following Comey’s testimony read a brief statement at the National Press Club (a few blocks from the White House) where he denied Comey’s charge in his testimony that Trump had tried to impede the FBI’s investigation of Michael Flynn, who briefly served as Trump’s national security adviser.

Kasowitz similarly denied Trump had made any false statements. Kasowitz’s general denials did little to blunt the impact of Comey’s powerful testimony, given under oath, nor did Trump’s lawyer refusing to take questions bolster their case.

I have considerable experience following presidential scandals up close (Watergate, Iran-Contra, and the Lewinsky matter). I found Marc Kasowitz’s defense of President Trump underwhelming.

More specifically, his defense seemed limited to the claim that Trump did not say what Comey says he did; Trump joined the defense 24 hours later at a press conference by volunteering to put his version under oath, as Comey’s was. Then the defense went on the attack with a Kasowitz statement riddled with problems. It is the kicker at the end trying to shift the problems to Comey:

Today, Mr. Comey admitted that he unilaterally and surreptitiously made unauthorized disclosures to the press of privileged communications with the President. The leaks of this privileged information began no later than March 2017 when friends of Mr. Comey have stated he disclosed to them the conversations he had with the President during their January 27, 2017 dinner and February 14, 2017 White House meeting.

On June 9, Mr. Comey admitted that he leaked to friends his purported memos of these privileged conversations, one of which he testified was classified. He also testified that immediately after he was terminated he authorized his friends to leak the contents of these memos to the press in order to “prompt the appointment of a special counsel.”

Although Mr. Comey testified he only leaked the memos in response to a tweet, the public record reveals that the New York Times was quoting from these memos the day before the referenced tweet, which belies Mr. Comey’s excuse for this unauthorized disclosure of privileged information and appears to entirely retaliatory.

We will leave it the appropriate authorities to determine whether this leaks [sic] should be investigated along with all those others being investigated.

Let’s look at each at the counterattack by Trump and Kasowitz:

Charge: Kasowitz claims Comey leaked classified information.

Response: To the contrary, this is a total misreading of Comey’s statement, not to mention it suggests Kasowitz paid no attention to Comey’s responses to the questions of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

A careful reading of Comey’s testimony, including his responses, reveals he did not release any classified material to any unauthorized persons. Comey repeatedly testified that the memos he wrote of his conversations with Trump were almost all unclassified. Or, as he stated to clarify at one point, “My view was that the content of those [memo are] unclassified, memorialization of those conversations was my recollection recorded.”

At another point in his testimony he corrected a senator who was not clear on classification. Senator Heinriech asked: “The memos that you wrote, you wrote—did you write all nine of them in a way that was designed to prevent them from needing classification?”

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Comey answered, “No. On a few of the occasions, I wrote—I sent emails to my chief of staff on some of the brief phone conversations I had. The first one was a classified briefing. Though it was in a conference room at Trump Tower, it was a classified briefing. I wrote that on a classified device. The one I started typing in the car, that was a classified laptop I started working on.”

The Senator asked, “Any reason in a classified environment, in a skiff [sic], that this committee, it would not be appropriate to see those communications at least from your perspective as the author?”

Comey said, “No.” But this has nothing to do with anything Comey “leaked,” if that is the correct word, which does not appear the case.

There is not a sintilla of evidence that Comey released any classified information, other than to his FBI associates involved in the Russia investigation, and cleared to receive such information.

Charge: Kasowitz claims Comey “leaked” information, and in doing so acted “surreptitiously.” Trump similarly call Comey a “leaker” as his press conference twenty-four hours after Comey’s testimony explaining his release of one of his memos to a friend, which he authorized sharing with the news media.

Response: Trump and his attorney appear to misunderstand the term “leak,” and exactly what Comey admitted to doing in releasing information.

Specifically, Kasowitz charged: “Mr. Comey admitted that he unilaterally and surreptitiously made unauthorized disclosures to the press of privileged communications with the President. The leaks of this privileged information began….”

First, Comey did not “leak” anything. Google, and most dictionaries, define a leak as “intentional disclosure of secret information.” Comey was privy to the conversation, so it was no secret—he simply used an intermediary, openly.

If Sean Spicer, the press secretary, shared a Trump conversation off-the-record with a reporter, that is not a leak. Comey’s friend released his account of a conversation to make the information public. He did not need Trump’s consent because he had been fired, and Trump was falsely characterizing Comey’s position.

To act surreptitiously means to keep something secret, and that was not done. The press coverage all but said the material had been provided by Comey and with his consent.

Charge : Kasowitz claims Trump’s conversations with Comey were “privileged.”

Response : This is absurd. Presidential conversations are only rarely privileged and that occurs when they deal with national security matters or involve deliberations in decision making.

Trump and his lawyer seem to think when Trump speaks some right of privacy attaches to his words. The Trump White House played this same game in claiming they allowed Comey to testify without invoking executive privilege to block him. I addressed this claim in a piece I wrote for CNN, because it is so over the top it is disconnected from reality. Now his New York lawyer is playing with it, and trying to suggest wrongdoing by Comey, and it is laughable.

It appears to me that Donald Trump has made the same mistake Richard Nixon did during Watergate: he is not represented by competent counsel.

When I first learned the dimensions of Watergate I went to one of my two immediate superiors to explain I did not have such experience, nor did the lawyers on my staff, thus suggesting we bring an experienced criminal lawyer so we not make some foolish mistake.

My suggestion was promptly dismissed and we proceeded to make one foolish mistake after another. After I broke rank and left the White House, Nixon never hired a criminal lawyer, and proceeded to commit more crimes. Not until he resigned did he hire a highly qualified criminal lawyer, and get the representation he needed.

President Trump has hired a great litigator, who has handled a lot of nasty business for him in the past. But what he really needs an experienced Washington-based criminal lawyer, without which he may not survive the problems he currently faces.

The weak response to the Comey testimony, and Trump’s bravado the next day at his press conference, show he is not ready to handle the legal problems he is facing. White House lawyers represent the office of the president, and are not available to handle his personal problems.

John W. Dean was a counsel to President Richard Nixon.

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