By Beth David, Editor
The trial of Michelle Carter, 20, the Plainville woman charged with involuntary manslaughter in the suicide death of Conrad Roy III in 2014, has been continued to June 5. Judge Lawrence Moniz allowed the request on February 3.
Defense attorney Joseph Cataldo had requested a continuance to give the defense time to sift through evidence from a computer and other documents.
The case is due in Taunton Juvenile court on Monday, 3/6, for a status hearing, and again on March 21 for a Daubert Hearing, which will explore which expert testimony will be allowed at the trial.
The defense had previously asked for funds to use experts who can testify about the effects of medications that both Mr. Roy and Ms. Carter were on at the time of Mr. Roy’s death.
Mr. Roy was 18 when his body was found in the cab of his pickup truck on July 13, 2014, at the KMart Plaza in Fairhaven with a gasoline powered water pump in the vehicle with him. He died from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Detectives uncovered text messages and emails between Ms. Carter and Mr. Roy and between Ms. Carter and her friends leading a grand jury to indict her on the charge.
The case is being tried in juvenile court because Ms. Carter was 17 at the time, but she is being charged as an adult.
In court documents, Mr. Cataldo said he needed more time for a forensic expert to inspect Lynn Roy’s computer. Mr. Roy had used his mother’s computer to make a video in which he complained about his life.
Three other electronic devices have yielded “hundreds of thousands” of items, including chat messages, images, videos and text messages that the defense needs to sort through, wrote Mr. Cataldo in his motion.
Mr. Cataldo also said the continuance was necessary because mental health records led to the need for other records.
Other evidence that needs to be sorted through includes phone records and cell site location information.
The pharmacology and toxicology expert has “voluminous documents” to review, wrote Mr. Cataldo, including “thousands and thousands of pages of digital records.”
Prosecutors argued against continuance, saying the defense has had access to the devices and the documents for an adequate amount of time to examine them.
The defense’s motion also said that Mr. Roy’s mental health records indicate additional individuals providing treatment to him, and the defense has not had time to review them to “incorporate them into the defense strategy, including, but not limited to, whether a mental health defense is to be relied upon in part.”
Prosecutors responded: “The Commonwealth fails to understand how medical records of the victim have any bearing whatsoever to whether or not the defendant has a mental health defense.”
Judge Moniz allowed the continuance.
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