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Articles Posted in Involuntary Manslaughter

A key component to murder is mens rea or a guilty mind. What separates murder from manslaughter is intent. In Massachusetts involuntary manslaughter is defined as an unlawful killing that was unintentionally caused as the result of wanton or reckless conduct that a defendant engaged in or an unlawful killing that resulted during the commission of a dangerous battery by a defendant. 

Wanton and reckless conduct is typically an affirmative act, such as driving a vehicle or shooting a firearm, but an omission to act when there is a duty to do so. 

In order for a defendant to be convicted of involuntary manslaughter on a theory of wanton and reckless conduct, the prosecution must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt 

What is Involuntary Manslaughter in Massachusetts?  

Involuntary manslaughter is an unlawful killing base on wanton and reckless conduct.  In both, the Carter and Inyoung You cases, a major issue is whether the defendant had fair notice under the due process clause that there conduct was criminal.

The case of In Young You involved her sending an extraordinary under of text to her boyfriend, 47,000 and a hundred of them told him to kill himself and go die.  90 Minutes before his graduation the 22 year old biology major jumped from the garage killing himself.  

Recent charges filed against a former Boston College Student are similar to the landmark Michelle Carter case where the SJC found that passive conduct of sending text messages could constitute involuntary manslaughter, despite the fact that Carter was not present at the time of death in that case.  Inyoung You, 21, was recently charged with involuntary manslaughter in response to an incident where her boyfriend, Alexander Urtula, 22, jumped from a parking garage killing himself just only hours before his graduation from Boston College. Authorities stated that You, who was also a Boston College student, was “physically, verbally, and psychologically abusive” towards Urtula during their 18-month relationship.

According to news reports, You was present at the parking garage when Urtula jumped because she had tracked his location.  Prosecutors said that You repeatedly text Urtula encouraging him to commit suicide saying such things as, “go kill yourself” or “go die” and making statements that You, Urtula’s family, and the world would be better off without Urtula.

Prosecutors contend that You was aware of Urtula’s depression and describe a pattern of abuse and manipulation throughout the relationship in which You allegedly exercised “total control” of Urtula both mentally and emotionally by the demands and threats she made to him.  In the two months before Urtula’s death, You sent more than 47,000 text messages to Urtula in which she told him to kill himself “hundreds of times,” according to Rollins.

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