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Warwick man sentenced to 15 years for terrorist plot after flipping for the government

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BOSTON, Mass. (WPRI) — Occasionally choking back tears, a Warwick man who plotted to behead a conservative blogger renounced ISIS in a Boston courtroom Wednesday morning, vowing to become a productive member of society after he serves time for his role in the terrorist plot.

Nicholas Rovinski, 27, was sentenced to serve 15 years in prison for conspiring to support ISIS and conspiring to commit an act of terrorism. He will receive credit for time served behind bars since his arrest in June 2015.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Siegmann acknowledged in court that Rovinski differed from other federal terror subjects in that he has publicly renounced ISIS and was willing to cooperate with federal investigators, including testifying for three days against his co-conspirator David Wright.

Siegmann said Rovinski never complained nor wavered in his decision to cooperate during long prep sessions for his testimony, even as threats were made to kill him and his family and to behead his cat.

Rovinski, Wright and Wright’s uncle Usaamah Rahim all plotted to behead conservative blogger Pamela Geller back in 2015, after ISIS (also known as ISIL or the Islamic State Group) issued a decree urging members to kill her over a cartoon contest of the Prophet Muhammad. The plot was never carried out.

“I’m striving to be a new man,” Rovinski said in court Wednesday. “I accept responsibility for my actions.” He said his crimes, for which he pleaded guilty in 2016, were full of “animus” and “evil.”

Rovinski also said he hopes to be a productive member of society upon his release, aiming to do charity work to help the poor and veterans. “He feels really badly about having signed on to an ideology that is inimical to the military forces that protect the country,” defense attorney William Fick said outside court.

While the plea agreement called for a possible sentence of 15-22 years, prosecutors and the defense team jointly recommended the lower-end 15 year sentence on Wednesday.

“There’s no doubt that the defendant…posed a grave threat to the United States in June 2015,” Siegmann said. She said his diagnosis of cerebral palsy is “not an excuse, but part of why he was so swayed” by Wright.

Court sketch of David Wright in court.

Wright was sentenced to 28 years in prison on Tuesday after being convicted by a jury in October. He was painted as the mastermind of the beheading plot, manipulating Rovinski into agreeing to the plan. Rahim, the third co-conspirator, was killed by police back in 2015 after lunging at officers with a knife.

After his arrest, Rovinski wrote two letters in prison to Wright, continuing to express a desire to recruit people to ISIS. But prosecutors said he later denounced the ideology and has fully cooperated since.

In emotional letters to the court, Rovinski’s family members described him as someone who had trouble fitting in, in part because of his disability, and asserted he was “brainwashed” by Wright after Rovinski turned to Islam following some troubled teen years.

“They knew he was vulnerable and naive, and that he was a lost young man trying to fit in and find friends,” Rovinski’s mother Lori Rovinski wrote in a letter to the court, asking for leniency.

Family members declined to comment on the sentence after the hearing.

Rovinski’s Twitter photo from 2015

“If he hadn’t had the misfortune for encountering Mr. Wright online, this phase may have gone by unnoticed,” said Fick.

Still, Fick agreed the sentence as fair, while also calling it an “extremely, extremely severe punishment.”

Judge Bill Young recommended that Rovinski be placed at FCI Danbury in Connecticut, a low-security facility where he would participate in a skills program. He was also ordered to have no contact with Pamela Geller, and to be on supervised release for the rest of his life once he completes his sentence.

“These are most serious crimes,” Young said to Rovinski. “I’m glad you can acknowledge how fair the government has been.”

 

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Brayton Point power plant to be sold soon; buyer will determine site’s future use

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SOMERSET, Mass. (WPRI) — The now-shuttered Brayton Point Power Station is close to being sold to another company, a spokesperson for the current owner told Eyewitness News.

David Byford, a spokesperson for Houston-based Dynegy, says the company has selected a bidder and will name the buyer once a contract is signed. The buyer will determine how the 234-acre waterfront site will be redeveloped, Byford said.

The impending sale was first reported by the Fall River Herald News.

The power plant shut down on May 31 after more than 50 years in operation. It was the last coal-burning power plant left in Massachusetts, churning out enough power to fuel 1.5 million homes. In more recent years, enormous twin cooling towers were built on the property. The pair can be seen for miles and have long been considered a eyesore to community members.

The future of the property is still unclear, including whether the towers will be torn down.  A study commissioned by the town of Somerset and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center in 2015 fleshed out three possible scenarios for the site after soliciting input from the public.

The scenarios included a natural gas power plant, a clean energy site with a solar and/or wind farm, or a marine industrial park that could include a cargo port and smaller solar farm. That third industrial park option would net the most jobs, according to the study.

Jobs losses were one the concerns for town officials back when the plant shut down. At the time, Dynegy employed 170 workers there. Now, according to Byford, 15 Dynegy employees work at the site. An additional 50 contractors are working on decommissioning activities.

State Sen. Michael Rodrigues, a Democrat who represents Somerset, confirmed Wednesday the company buying the property is based in St. Louis. He said the buyer plans to clean up the site and prepare it for redevelopment.

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New Bedford man charged in series of 9 arsons

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NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — A New Bedford man is being held without bail on charges he set nine fires in the north end of the city in a three-month span.

Jose DeBrito, 30, of Sawyer Street, was arrested on arson charges earlier this month following fires on Myrtle and State Streets.

On Friday, police said an investigation by city detectives, fire officials, the District Attorney’s office and the state Fire Marshal’s office led to DeBrito being charged with setting an additional seven fires.

Investigators allege DeBrito set fires at the following locations:

  • July 28: 79 Adams St.
  • July 31: 475 Coggeshall St.
  • Aug. 2: 470-472 Sawyer St.
  • Aug. 8: 140 Hathaway St.
  • Aug. 8: 78 Penniman St.
  • Sept. 7: Purity Linens, 405 Myrtle St.
  • Sept. 30: 231 Myrtle St.
  • Oct. 11: 149 Myrtle St.
  • Oct. 12: 245 State St.

Police said DeBrito poured gasoline on the windows or doors of the buildings then set them on fire and, in many cases, remained in the area to watch the building burn.

“It started happening more and more, and that’s all we could talk about,” said Melissa Fisher, who lives in the Coggeshall St. building that was set on fire on July. “What if they came back, what if somebody ends up getting killed?”

Police said DeBrito was formerly employed by Purity Linens, and one home was the residence of his former girlfriend. The remaining locations appear to have been selected at random, police said, though they’re all in close proximity of his Sawyer Street home.

“I’m sure they’re comforted to know they can go to sleep tonight and don’t have to worry about somebody setting their door or their window afire,” said New Bedford Police Chief Joseph Cordeiro in an interview with Eyewitness News.

Cordeiro said DeBrito had been a person of interest in the previous fires for a while, but police finally got enough evidence to charge him with all nine of them on Friday.

“He had the same MO,” Cordeiro said. “It was either doors, or windows that he was setting on fire. So he had the same MO and then it was just about putting a lot pieces together, a lot of hard work from our investigators.”

After being deemed dangerous at a hearing on Oct. 19, DeBrito was ordered held at the Bristol County House of Correction. He’s scheduled to appear in court for a probable cause hearing on Nov. 19.

“I hope he gets to spend some time in jail and think about all the damage that he’s caused, and possibly families that he could’ve ruined,” Fisher said.

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Affidavit: Mother of boy killed in murder-suicide feared it would happen

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FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — The mother of a boy who police say was killed by his father in an apparent murder-suicide Thursday night was afraid it would happen as far back as four years ago, according to an affidavit she wrote in support of a restraining order.

In 2013, the mother of Anthony Scaccia wrote in the document that she was having a dispute with William Scaccia over the custody of their then-2-year-old son.

“He made many implications that he would kill Anthony and himself,” she wrote. She quoted Scaccia as saying, “You don’t know the depths I will go to keep my son. You have not seen how evil I can be.”

The restraining order was granted at the time, but later expired.

Four years after that document was written, police say William Scaccia shot and killed 6-year-old Anthony in his East Street home and then turned the gun on himself. He spread gasoline around the home and lit a spark in an apparent attempt to burn the house down after the murder-suicide, police said.

The boy’s grandmother, the only other adult home at the time of the incident, woke up and put out the flames while calling 911, police said. A neighbor says she banged on his door, explaining that she couldn’t find her glasses and needed help getting to her grandson upstairs.

“There was no bringing him back,” said Richard Shain, the neighbor who said he entered the home and found Anthony’s body.

Police said a suicide note provided enough evidence to conclude that the deaths were the result of a murder-suicide.

The restraining order is just one example of a trail of possible warning signs including arrests and other contact with police, according to Foxboro Police Chief William Baker.

Baker said Scaccia had been arrested as recently as last Saturday, after allegedly assaulting someone in Foxboro. The following day, Baker says someone with a “domestic relationship” to Scaccia called police to report he had a gun.

Baker had denied Scaccia a pistol permit back in July because of his history of domestic abuse. Police confiscated the gun and charged Scaccia with illegal possession of a firearm.

Scaccia apparently obtained another gun by Thursday, when police said he committed the murder-suicide. Baker said investigators recovered the weapon and shell casings, and would conduct ballistics tests to try and determine the origin of the gun.

Police said Scaccia did not live at the East Street home, but they are still looking into what his current address was. There was not currently a restraining order in place between Scaccia and his son or his son’s mother.

Deb DeBare, an advocate with the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence, said the case reminds her of why the community needs to do better to hold abusers accountable.

“I get chills, because it’s unfortunately all too common when victims of domestic violence will tell us they see warning signs, and they know how dangerous these situations are,” DeBare said Friday night.

She said victims can work with trained domestic violence advocates to form a safety plan tailored to their situation in order to try and prevent domestic murder.

“Restraining orders in and of itself are not going to be a magic cure-all,” DeBare said. “It’s a tool in a toolbox… every single person’s situation is unique, but all these situations are potentially lethal.”

Chief Baker echoed those sentiments, insisting at a news conference that the system is not failing domestic violence victims, and encouraging them to come forward and continue to report abuse.

“I would resist the temptation to draw the conclusion that the system failed somehow or that restraining orders or legal processes associated with these sorts of cases are of no value,” Baker said. “I think they’re of great value.”

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Police dig in Taunton yard as part of investigation

TAUNTON, Mass. (WPRI) – Taunton police used a backhoe to dig up a front yard on Bryan Drive in Taunton Thursday as part of an ongoing investigation.

The Bristol County DA’s office declined to comment on what police were looking for, but said they would notify the public if something relevant was found.

Neighbors told Eyewitness News that police arrived around 8 a.m. Thursday, eventually bringing in the large equipment and wrapping crime scene tape around the house.

Police said they would notify the public if anything relevant was found.

Crews from the town’s Parks & Cemeteries department arrived on scene to remove a large tree from the area where police were digging. Neighbors said detectives were using K-9s to assist in the investigation.

Taunton Police referred all questions about the police activity to the Bristol County DA’s office. A spokesman for the DA said: “It’s part of an ongoing investigation, and we don’t comment on pending investigations.”

Police left the scene around 6:30 p.m., removing the crime scene tape after filling in the hole. Eyewitness News confirmed the people who live on the property where police were digging are not involved in the ongoing investigation.

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Michelle Carter sentenced to serve 15 months in prison, but remains free for now

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TAUNTON, Mass. (WPRI) — A judge Thursday sentenced Michelle Carter to serve 15 months behind bars, but delayed sending her to prison until after she is able to appeal her manslaughter conviction.

The ruling came down after an emotional hearing in which the parents of Conrad Roy III blamed Carter for their son’s death.

Judge Lawrence Moniz, who found Carter guilty of involuntary manslaughter in June, sentenced Carter to two and a half years at the Bristol County House of Correction, with 15 months to serve and the remainder suspended with probation. He then granted a motion by the defense for a stay of the sentence, which means she won’t report to prison until all her state appeals are exhausted. Federal appeals will not be included in the stay.

“She gets to go home tonight to her nice home,” said Jimmy Brodeur, a relative of Roy, after the sentencing. “She has to stay in Massachusetts, she could be at Six Flags tomorrow. What kind of justice is that?”

Bristol County District Attorney Maryclare Flynn said she was disappointed in the judge’s decision to stay the sentence.

“We remain as we always have, steadfast in our belief that Michelle Carter committed involuntary manslaughter and needs to be held accountable,” Flynn said. “We hope that the trial in the very least brought more awareness to the complex issues of technology in our society, the way our words can impact one another and the way that we treat each other.”

Flynn had asked the judge to sentence Carter to 7-12 years in prison, while the defense had requested five years supervised probation with no jail time.

Judge Moniz, who is retiring from the court, said the reason he granted the stay until after the appeal is because “the conviction may be reversible, but the time spent in prison is not.” He also ordered that Carter not profit off of her crime in any form, including by participating in a movie or writing a book.

Roy, 18, who was in a romantic relationship with Carter mostly through text messages, died by suicide in July 2014 after using a generator to fill his pickup truck with carbon monoxide in a Fairhaven parking lot.

Roy’s sister, father and mother presented statements to the judge before the sentencing, describing the pain of their loss and the impact it has had on the family.

“Michelle Carter exploited my son’s weaknesses and use him as a pawn,” said Roy’s father, Conrad Roy Jr. He said his last words to his son were “I love you.”

“Coco was sensitive, loving, intelligent, compassionate,” Roy said. “I cannot begin to describe the despair I feel over the loss of my son.”

Conrad Roy, Jr. reads an impact statement in court

Carter’s defense attorney Joseph Cataldo argued his client would be better rehabilitated if she underwent mental health treatment, and said she regretted her actions. He also said Carter was hoping to get her broker’s license and become a real estate agent.

Carter did not personally address the court.

Cataldo said his appeal strategy will be “to argue…that Massachusetts does not have an assisted suicide or an encouragement of suicide law in place,” and also a first amendment argument. The ACLU of Massachusetts has also said Carter’s conviction violates free speech.

Carter’s appeal could go all the way to the Supreme Judicial Court, which already weighed in against her back in 2016.

During the trial back in June, prosecutors presented thousands of text messages between the two teenagers that showed them planning the suicide. Carter repeatedly encouraged Roy to go through with his attempt, even when he expressed doubts or fears.

“When are you doing it?” Carter asked in one of the text messages. Roy responded by asking about Carter’s day.

“When are you gonna do it?” Carter asked again. “Stop ignoring the question.”

Judge Moniz’ decision to render a guilty verdict hinged on evidence that Roy had exited his vehicle when he started to feel the effects of the poisonous gas, only to be told to get back in by Carter, who was talking to him on the phone at the time.

While the actual order to get back in was not documented in a text message, prosecutors presented multiple texts between Carter and friends in which she told them she had instructed Roy to get back in the truck.

The defense team unsuccessfully argued that Roy was responsible for his own suicide, and that Carter was “involuntarily intoxicated” by antidepressants when she encouraged him to kill himself. The judge dismissed the intoxication argument as not credible.

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Michelle Carter found guilty in texting suicide case

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TAUNTON, Mass. (WPRI) — A judge handed down a guilty verdict Friday morning in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Michelle Carter, a 20-year-old woman who urged her boyfriend to kill himself back in 2014 when the two were teenagers.

The trial garnered international attention and conversation about teen suicide, depression and the impacts of texting.

“The Commonwealth has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Ms. Carter’s actions, and also her failure to act, where she had a self-created duty to Mr. Roy since she had put him into that toxic environment, constituted each and all wanton and reckless conduct,” Judge Lawrence Moniz said before he rendered his verdict. “Said conduct caused the death of Mr. Roy.”

Judge Moniz allowed Carter to remain out on bail until her sentencing on August 3.

Conrad Roy III took his own life on July 12, 2014 by using a generator to fill his pickup truck with carbon monoxide in a Fairhaven parking lot. But prosecutors for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts charged Carter with causing his death, arguing her constant urging that he go through with his suicide plans was akin to killing him.

The judge said the encouragement alone was not enough to prove she caused his death, but the combination of those messages and the evidence that Carter told him to get back in his truck during the suicide attempt is what led to his determination that she was guilty.

“Ms. Carter…had reason to know that Mr. Roy had followed her instruction and had placed himself in the toxic environment of that truck,” Moniz said.

He said the fact that Roy had previously attempted suicide had no bearing on this case.

Roy’s father, Conrad Roy Jr., briefly thanked the judge, prosecution and police for their work on the case.

“This has been a very tough time for our family, and we’d just like to process this verdict that we’re happy with,” Roy told reporters.

“Although we are very pleased with the verdict, in reality there are no winners here today,” Assistant District Attorney Katie Rayburn said. “Conrad, an 18-year-old boy, is dead. And a young woman is now convicted of causing his death. Two families have been torn apart and will be affected by this for years to come.”

She said she hoped the verdict would bring closure to Roy’s family and friends.

Friends and family members of Conrad Roy III listen as Judge Lawrence Moniz announces his verdict on 6/16/17. Michelle Carter was found Guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the suicide of Conrad Roy III. Photo by Glenn C.Silva/Fairhaven Neighborhood News.

“He was a wonderful young man who had his whole life in front of him. He was making efforts to better himself and to find his way through a difficult stage of his life,” Rayburn said. “I know we all wish that he had the opportunity to grow up into adulthood, to become a tugboat captain and to enjoy his future.”

She also acknowledged the great deal of attention the case has received.

“We fully understand that this was a unique case that dealt with a lot of important issues in our society today,” Rayburn said. “But in the end, the case was about one young man and one young woman who were brought together by tragic circumstances. The evidence clearly showed but not for the actions of Michelle Carter, Conrad Roy would still be alive the morning of July 13, 2014.”

Carter’s defense attorney Joseph Cataldo said he was disappointed in the verdict but declined to comment further while sentencing is still pending.

Cataldo had argued that Roy made the decision to take his own life, pointing to a previous suicide attempt and evidence of suicidal thoughts dating back years. In a suicide note left behind for Carter, Roy thanked her for trying to help him and did not ascribe blame.

The defense also hired an expert witness, psychiatrist Dr. Peter Breggin, who testified that he believed Carter was “involuntarily intoxicated” by antidepressants when she sent the texts urging Roy to take his own life.

Judge Moniz said he did not find Dr. Breggin credible.

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After closing arguments, Michelle Carter’s fate now in judge’s hands

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TAUNTON, Mass. (WPRI) — Conrad Roy III would still be alive had it not been for the actions of Michelle Carter in 2014, a prosecutor argued in closing statements in the 20-year-old woman’s involuntary manslaughter trial Tuesday.

But Carter’s defense attorney argued Conrad Roy knew what he was doing when he got into a truck filling up with poisonous gas, and the Commonwealth failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Carter was responsible.

Judge Lawrence Moniz will be the one to render a verdict after reviewing the evidence and testimony. He did not say how much time he needs to deliberate but said he would give advance notice when he’s ready to read the verdict in open court.

The closing arguments came at the end of a seven-day trial that focused on thousands of text messages between the two teenagers, who were romantically involved and discussed Roy’s suicide plans at length for more than a year and a half.

RELATED: Defense Rests in Michelle Carter Trial »

“When he is scared, she orders him to do it,” Bristol County Assistant District Attorney Katie Rayburn argued. “He didn’t want to die.”

A key piece of evidence in the case was a text message Carter sent to a friend disclosing that she was on the phone with Roy during the suicide attempt, and told him to get back in the truck when the carbon monoxide was overwhelming him.

“She listened to his last words, she listened to his last breaths,” Rayburn said. “And she listened to him die.”

“Did he get back in the car? Yes. But she ordered him to get back in.” Rayburn said a manslaughter charge does not require the defendant to be present at the scene of the alleged crime.

“It’s a new day and age,” Rayburn said. “The phones we have now allow you be virtually present.” The prosecution has said Carter’s actions were partly motivated by her desire for sympathy and attention from other teen girls.

Carter’s defense attorney dismissed the idea that Roy was not capable of making his own decision, pointing out he appeared to have his faculties in a video recorded a month before his death, and he had the option to hang up the phone while speaking to Carter during the suicide attempt.

“The only person present was Conrad Roy,” Cataldo said. “Michelle Carter did not kill Conrad Roy. It’s sad, it’s tragic but it’s just not a homicide.”

Cataldo pointed to a suicide note Roy left for Carter, where he does not blame her for his death.

“I wish I could express my gratitude,” Roy wrote in the letter. “I love you and greatly appreciate your effort and kindness towards me.”

The defense also presented text messages from 2012 up to early 2014 where Michelle Carter encouraged Roy to get treatment, rather than urging him to kill himself. The “change,” a psychiatrist who testified for the defense argued, came on July 2, 2014, when he said Carter became “involuntarily intoxicated” by the antidepressant Celexa.

Dr. Peter Breggin said Carter had “no notion” of criminality when she encouraged Roy to kill himself.

The prosecution attempted to discredit Breggin by pointing out a pattern of testimony and other writings of his that oppose SSRI antidepressants in general. ADA Rayburn also questioned how Carter suddenly became “intoxicated” three months after she began taking the drug.

“She absolutely knew what she was doing,” Rayburn said. “She absolutely knew it was wrong, and she absolutely caused the death of this 18-year-old boy.”

 

 

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Michelle Carter June 9 by Pool Photographer Glenn Silva
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Defense rests in manslaughter trial of Michelle Carter

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TAUNTON, Mass. (WPRI) — After more than a day of testimony from a psychiatrist, Michelle Carter’s defense attorney rested his case in her involuntary manslaughter trial.

Closing arguments in the trial are expected Tuesday afternoon.

Carter has been on trial since last week, accused of causing the death of her boyfriend Conrad Roy III back in 2014. Roy died by suicide, but prosecutors allege Carter’s constant urging that he commit the act directly led to his death.

The defense team’s final witness, Dr. Peter Breggin, testified that Carter was “involuntarily intoxicated” and “delusional” when she sent text messages encouraging Roy to go through with his suicide. Breggin is a psychiatrist who has never treated Carter as a patient but reviewed her medical records, text messages and interviewed people who know her for this case.

Breggin’s argument was that the antidepressant Celexa, which Carter started taking in April 2014, caused the “involuntary intoxication” that stopped her from having any notion of wrongdoing of her actions in July of that year. Conrad Roy killed himself on July 12, 2014 by using a generator to fill his pickup truck with carbon monoxide in a Fairhaven parking lot.

Breggin pinpointed Carter’s intoxication to July 2; ten days before Roy’s death.

In cross-examination Tuesday morning, the prosecution questioned Breggin about how Carter suddenly became intoxicated by the drug three months after she began taking it.

Assistant District Attorney Katie Rayburn also pointed to previous testimony and publications by Breggin that generally oppose SSRIs like Celexa.

Breggin said the drug should not have been prescribed to a child. Carter was 17 at the time. He also said Carter was struggling with her own problems like anorexia and cutting at the time Roy was contemplating suicide. Carter was briefly hospitalized for an eating disorder in June 2014.

Prosecutors spent most of the trial pointing to text communications between Carter and Roy in which Carter helps Roy plan his suicide and urges him to go through with it, even when he expresses doubts.

The prosecution also submitted evidence that they claim shows Carter was on the phone with Roy at the time he died and told him to get back into his truck when he started to feel the effects of carbon monoxide.

Carter waived her right to a jury at the beginning of the trial. Judge Lawrence Moniz will be rendering a verdict in the case.

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Psychiatrist: Carter followed Roy into ‘very dark place’

TAUNTON, Mass. (WPRI) — Michelle Carter was “involuntarily intoxicated” by an antidepressant when she encouraged her boyfriend, Conrad Roy III to kill himself in 2014, according a psychiatrist who testified in Carter’s defense Monday.

Dr. Peter Breggin, who has not treated Carter but reviewed her medical records, text messages and other records for this case, said Roy dragged Carter into a “very dark place” before his death.

Carter is on trial for involuntary manslaughter, accused of causing Roy’s death by encouraging him to kill himself and allegedly telling him to get back into his truck that was filling with carbon monoxide on June 12, 2014. Roy’s body was found by police the following day in that truck in a Kmart parking lot in Fairhaven, Mass.

Breggin, an expert witness hired by the defense, said he specializes in the effects of drugs on the brain. He testified that Celexa, the antidepressant Carter was taking, was not meant to be prescribed to minors. Carter was 17 at the time.

He pinpointed the “involuntary intoxication” to July 2, 2014, calling it a sudden “transformation” in Michelle Carter’s behavior. It was 10 days before Roy’s death.

Breggin said he reviewed messages between the two teens beginning in 2012, when the two met in Florida and began talking online. Roy attempted suicide in October of that year, and was hospitalized. Breggin pointed out messages where Carter attempted to stop Roy from suicide.

“You nhave [sic] so much to live for please don’t,” Carter wrote to Roy in a Facebook message dated October 10, 2012.

Up to about a month before Roy’s death, messages presented by the defense showed Carter was encouraging Roy to seek treatment for his suicidal thoughts. Breggin said Carter was “desperate” to help him.

The changeover, Dr. Breggin testified, began on July 2 when Carter “begins to help him go to heaven.” He said one of the symptoms of the intoxication was “grandiosity.”

“She has this power she imagines…not even thinking about things like criminal responsibility or whether this is bad,” Breggin testified. “She knows this is good…she’s found the way to finally help.”

That encouragement to commit suicide was detailed by the prosecution in the first week of the trial, when attorneys presented hundreds of text messages in which Carter urges Roy to take his own life.

“Hang yourself, jump off a building, stab yourself idk there’s lots of ways,” Carter texted Roy.

“Can you please stop rushing me,” Roy texted Carter in a different conversation. “Like I’m just thinking. My life is gonna end.”

Dr. Breggin also testified about the “black box warning” for the drug Celexa, which Conrad Roy was also taking.

“The black box warning specifically says there is an increased risk of suicide,” Breggin said. The risk is increased in patients under age 24, he testified.

Breggin will continue his testimony on Tuesday. Defense attorney Joseph Cataldo declined to comment Monday on whether he will call Carter to the stand.

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