Boston college student 'encouraged' boyfriend to kill himself, faces charges

South Korean student In Young You used attempts and threats of self-harm to emotionally 'control' her 22-year-old boyfriend Alexander Urtula.

student held for encourgaring boyfriend into suicide
Alexander Urtula with girlfriend In Young You. Suffolk District Attorney’s Office

A Boston College student was charged of involuntary manslaughter on Monday, October 28 for the encouraging her boyfriend of successfully killing himself in May. Twenty-one-year-old In Young You was charged for being "physically, verbally and psychologically abusive" towards her boyfriend Alexander Urtula who died of suicide in May, said Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins.

Urtula was a biology major and You studied economics. Both of them studied at Boston College. Investigation revealed that You had tracked Urtula's location on May 20 and was present when he jumped from a parking garage. The incident took place hours before his graduation ceremony. Officials found that out of the 47,000 text messages exchanged between the two, hundreds of texts had You encouraging her 22-year-old boyfriend to "go kill himself" or to "go die", reported Associated Press. She also told him his family and the world would be better off without him, according to prosecutors.

A statement released by the Suffolk District Attorney's office read, "unrelenting abuse was witnessed by friends and classmates of both parties and documented extensively in text messages between the couple, and in Mr. Urtula's journal entries." The recent trial revealed that You knew about Urtula's depression and suicidal thoughts during the course of their 18-month relationship and isolated him from friends and family knowingly.

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"Many of the messages display the power dynamic of the relationship, wherein Ms You made demands and threats with the understanding that she had complete and total control over Mr Urtula both mentally and emotionally," Rollins was quoted as saying. You, a South Korean citizen has gone back to her country. Rollins said that You's voluntary return to the US is being negotiated with You's counsel."If she does not, we will utilize the power we have to get her back," Rollins said.

"Texting suicide case"

The case comes months after the Supreme Court ruled 17-year-old Michelle Carter acted with criminal intent for encouraging her boyfriend Conroy Roy to kill himself in 2014. Carter was sentenced to 15 months in prison for involuntary manslaughter for encouraging Roy using text messages and phone calls.

The similarity between the two cases was also mentioned in the recent case. Rollins, however, said there were 'significant differences' between the two cases, such as the 'complete control You had over Urtula.' "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," Rollins said. You had also used attempts and threats of self-harm to control Urtula, the District Attorney said.

A bill relating to the prevention of suicide, called 'Conrad's law' is proposed to the legislative committee in which encouragement or assistance of suicide will be a criminal offence and punishable to five years in prison is proposed to the legislative committee.