Both feature young women charged with involuntary manslaughter for encouraging their boyfriends to kill themselves, according to prosecutors. Both rely on extensive text message evidence. And both took place in Massachusetts.
But despite their similarities, the cases do have clear differences in the runup to the suicides and in the defendants’ alleged intent.
“I think the facts will show in Carter there was very limited physical contact prior and some very egregious language in the instance or moments leading up to the death,” she said.
“We have quite frankly (in the BC case), I would say the opposite of that. We have a barrage of a complete and utter attack on this man’s very will and conscience and psyche by an individual to the tune of 47,000 text messages in the two months leading up.”
The case against Inyoung You
Rollins’ comments came as she announced that Inyoung You, a 21-year-old former Boston College student, was charged in an indictment with involuntary manslaughter for her boyfriend’s suicide.
You allegedly tracked the location of her boyfriend, Alexander Urtula, on May 20 and was present when he jumped from a parking garage just hours before his BC graduation, Rollins told reporters.
Authorities said You was “physically, verbally and psychologically abusive” toward Urtula during their relationship. That abuse became more frequent, more powerful and more demeaning in the days and hours leading up to his suicide, Rollins said.
You sent him more than 47,000 text messages and prosecutors said she had complete and total control over Urtula. She repeatedly told him to “go kill himself” or “go die” and that she, his family and the world would be better off without him, officials said.
She also allegedly used manipulative attempts and threats of self-harm to control him and isolate him from his family, officials said.
Rollins portrayed the case as one example of an “epidemic” of domestic violence, which she said affects people regardless of gender.
“Domestic violence may not always look the same, but it is always about power and control,” she said.
You was scheduled to graduate in May 2020 but withdrew from classes in August, according to the school’s spokesperson. She is currently in her native South Korea, and the district attorney’s office is “cautiously optimistic” that she will return to the United States voluntarily to face the charge.
“If she does not, we will utilize the power we have to get her back,” Rollins said.
In a news release, the DA’s office said it’s working with You’s counsel to coordinate an arraignment. A grand jury returned an indictment October 18. CNN has not been able to reach You or her counsel for comment.
The case against Michelle Carter
As in You’s case, Carter’s trial featured a bevy of intimate text messages pressuring her boyfriend to go through with his suicide plan.
The defense portrayed Carter as a troubled, delusional young woman struggling with her own depression. They said Roy’s death was a tragedy — but not a crime.
CNN’s Julia Jones contributed to this report.