A Massachusetts woman was found guilty today of involuntary manslaughter for urging an 18-year old friend to commit suicide.

Judge Lawrence Moniz said the text messages Michelle Carter sent to a suicidal Conrad Roy, urging him to kill himself, constituted wanton and reckless conduct. But he said prosecutors did not prove those messages caused his death.  He did, however, say she was responsible, because of how she reacted when Roy got out of a truck that was filling with carbon monoxide.

“When Ms. Carter realizes that Mr. Roy has exited the truck, she instructs him to get back into the truck," Moniz said.

Judge Moniz compared this to the 2013 case involving the Worcester Cold Storage Warehouse fire, in which two homeless people didn’t report a fire they’d accidentally started, resulting in the death of six firefighters. The court ruled in that case that the defendants failed to exercise reasonable care to prevent the risk.

“The reckless failure to fulfill this duty can result in a charge of manslaughter," he said."

The judge described Carter listening on the phone as Roy died, and he said she didn’t call anyone for help.

“Consequently, this court has found that the Commonwealth has proven 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," he said.

The judge didn’t buy the defense’s claim that Carter’s actions were impacted by intoxication from psychiatric medication.  After the verdict, Roy’s father, also named Conrad Roy, made a brief statement, in which he called his son by his nickname, Coco.

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

Assistant District Attorney Katie Rayburn said although the DA’s office was pleased with the verdict, there were no winners in the case.

“Two families have been torn apart and will be affected by this for years to come," she said. "With that being said, we fervently hope today’s guilty verdict will bring some measure of justice to the friends and family of Conrad Roy, and provide them with some opportunity for closure.”

Defense attorneys told reporters they were disappointed by the ruling, but did not elaborate about plans for an appeal. The American Civil Liberties Union denounced the conviction, saying it exceeds the limits of the state’s criminal laws and violates free speech protections.

Carter was released on bail until sentencing on August third, and faces up to 20 years in prison.