Woman charged in connection with boyfriend's suicide
BOSTON (AP) - Prosecutors say a former Boston College student who had "complete and total control'' over her boyfriend has been indicted on an involuntary manslaughter charge for allegedly encouraging him to take his own life.
Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins announced the indictment against 21-year-old Inyoung You during a news conference Monday.
Rollins said You and Alexander Urtula exchanged thousands of text messages, including somewhere she urged Urtula to kill himself.
"She was aware of his spiraling depression and suicidal thoughts brought on by her abuse, yet she persisted, continuing to encourage him to take his own life," Rollins said in a news conference. "Abuse became more frequent and more powerful and more demeaning in the days and hours leading up to Mr. Urtula's untimely death."
He died in Boston on May 20, the day of his Boston College graduation.
The DA continued on saying that You used a GPS tracker through her phone, and investigators believe she was at the parking garage when Urtula took his life.
Rollins says You is currently in South Korea.
Rollins' office did not provide the name of her attorney.
The case is similar to the case of Michelle Carter, the Massachusetts woman convicted of involuntary manslaughter for sending her boyfriend texts encouraging him to kill himself.
After the Carter case, it seems that a precedent has been set regarding what's protected under the first amendment. But that precedent is a bit concerning for Roger Williams University law professor Andrew Horwitz.
"Normally speaking under our law you cannot be convicted of a crime for speech alone, and that was the argument the folks who defended Michelle Carter," Horwitz said. "I think it's a very scary road to go down".
Horwitz said a case like this could lay the groundwork where other types of speech that leads to someone's death could be a crime.
"Gets a little complicated to figure out where we draw lines about what actually constitutes causation and what kind of speech are we apparently no longer protected," he said.
Carter is currently serving out a 15-month sentence, but her lawyers are trying to get the case heard at the US Supreme Court.
This story contains information from the Associated Press.