Over the course of a four-hour testimony, Dr. Peter Breggin described a transformation undergone by Michelle Carter from lifelong “helper” into an apathetic maniac.
Carter is accused of encouraging her 18-year-old boyfriend, Conrad Roy III, to kill himself in June 2014. Through a series of texts and phone calls, the then-17-year-old Carter told Roy to follow through with his plans to die by suicide.
“Always smile, and, yeah, you just have to do it. You have everything you need. There is no way you can fail. Tonight is the night. It’s now or never,” Carter texted Roy.
That Carter, Breggin argued, was not the same vulnerable girl from 2012, who constantly checked on Roy to make sure he was OK after his first suicide attempt that October.
Breggin has had decades of courtroom experience, having served as an expert witness in dozens of trials. He spoke with his hands, drew diagrams of the human brain on the courtroom’s whiteboard and often spoke directly facing the judge.
However, some of his answers were winding and drew derision in the courtroom.
The prosecutor objected to Breggin dozens of times during the four-hour questioning. Breggin often times ad-libbed texts he was reading from Carter and Roy, or tried to interject his own perspectives on what the two felt at the time, the prosecution said.
Defense attorney Joseph Cataldo often had to reign Breggin back on topic.
But when Breggin was describing his professional opinions on the text exchange, his testimony painted a more vivid picture of the torrid relationship between Roy and Carter than simply reading their phones could provide.
“She’s been confronted with someone whom she loves very very much. She’s a helper, her whole life is helping people. And this boy that she loves now says in the face of her great distress that he is going to kill himself and its going to happen tonight and he even has plans. It’s an intolerable position for her to be in,” Breggin said, describing the Oct. 2012 between Roy and Carter after his first suicide attempt.
According to Breggin, Carter became increasingly vulnerable after being prescribed Prozac.
By Alban Murtishi