By Brian Vitagliano, CNN
Former Boston College student Inyoung You pleaded guilty Thursday to manslaughter in the suicide of her boyfriend, Boston College student Alexander Urtula, according to a joint sentencing memorandum.
Suffolk County, Massachusetts, Superior Court Judge Robert Ullman sentenced You to a suspended jail sentence of 2 1/2 years and 10 years of probation. You will not be remanded into custody, but if she violates her probation, the judge can impose the jail sentence in the house of corrections.
The first five years of that probationary term will be supervised, during which time You will be required to comply with a number of conditions, including that she complete community service and continue to undergo mental health treatment by a licensed provider.
You is explicitly barred from profiting financially from the facts underlying the case at any time during the 10-year probationary term.
You tracked Urtula’s location on May 20, 2019, and was present when he jumped from a parking garage onto a Boston transit station only hours before graduation, Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins told reporters at the time.
Authorities said You, was “physically, verbally and psychologically abusive” toward her boyfriend during their 18-month relationship.
Ullmann called the case a tragedy and should serve as a caution to teens and young people who turn to social media and demean someone. Before departing the bench, Ullmann, according to a statement from the court, had one request of You. “I just ask that you make every possible effort to live your life in a way that honors the memory of Alexander,” he said.
“This agreement with defense counsel was made in close consultation with the Urtula family,” said Rollins. “It is consistent with their desire to seek accountability and closure and to protect the legacy of Alexander, a loving son, brother, and uncle. They believe this is something Alexander would have wanted.”
“Today, as always, our thoughts are with Alexander’s family and loved ones,” Rollins said. “Today’s plea allows them to close one chapter of their grief and hopefully move on to the next stage of their journey toward healing.”
Prosecutors have described a pattern of abuse and manipulation throughout the relationship, in which You allegedly “made demands and threats” and exercised “total control” of Urtula, both mentally and emotionally. She was aware of her boyfriend’s depression, they contended.
You instructed Urtula to kill himself “hundreds of times” through the more than 47,000 text messages she sent him in the two months before his death, prosecutors said.
Urtula was a biology major and You studied economics. After Urtula’s suicide, You returned to her native South Korea, but did appear in court Thursday, the court confirmed.
You was scheduled to graduate in May 2020 but withdrew from classes in August, according to the school’s spokesperson.
The case raised comparisons to the Michelle Carter suicide texting case, in which Carter was convicted of involuntary manslaughter after a judge determined that her texts to her boyfriend Conrad Roy III persuaded him to kill himself in 2014.
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