A 23-year-old woman pleaded guilty to manslaughter on Thursday after repeatedly telling her boyfriend to kill himself, which he went on to do, while they were students at Boston College.
Inyoung You’s guilty plea showed she accepted responsibility that her verbal, physical, and psychological abuse contributed to the suicide of Alexander Urtula, the Suffolk County district attorney’s office said. You had originally pleaded not guilty in 2019; under the new plea agreement, she received a suspended sentence. If she violates any of her probation terms over the next 10 years, she could serve two and a half years in jail.
Among the terms of the agreement are that she will undergo mental health treatment and do community service. In addition, she may not profit from any portrayal of the case over the next 10 years.
“This agreement with defense counsel was made in close consultation with the Urtula family. It is consistent with their desire to seek accountability and closure and to protect the legacy of Alexander, a loving son, brother, and uncle,” Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins said in a statement. “They believe this is something Alexander would have wanted.”
You’s lawyer did not immediately return BuzzFeed News’ request for comment.
The two began dating in late 2017 or early 2018, BuzzFeed News previously reported. Prosecutors alleged that You became abusive toward Urtula in late summer 2018 after she found out he lied about meeting with his ex-girlfriend.
Prosecutors argued that You failed to stop her boyfriend even though she knew where he was and what he was going to do. They argued this made her “criminally responsible” for his suicide.
Throughout You and Urtula’s 18-month relationship, You sent many abusive texts to Urtula, often telling him to die by suicide.
“do everyone a favor and go fucking kill yourself, you’re such a fucking stupid ass worthless shit,” You texted 22-year-old Urtula, BuzzFeed News reported in 2019.
Urtula died on May 20, 2019, just hours before his college graduation. You was tracking his phone that morning and was present at the time of his death. Urtula’s family was in town for his graduation.
Four days before his death, You texted him, “FUCK YOU GO FUCKING KILL YOURSELF…”
Steven Kim, You’s attorney, said in a statement in November 2019 that prosecutors had branded “an emotionally fragile young woman a monster to the entire world, further traumatizing her.”
Before You’s arraignment, the Boston Globe published texts between You and Urtula before his death.
“ALEX. WHAT SRE YOU [expletive] DOING. IF U [expletive] LOVE ME STOP. IF U EVER [expletive] LOVED ME STOP,” You texted Urtula, according to the Boston Globe.
But You’s abuse throughout their relationship had been “near constant,” Rollins said on Thursday. It became more disturbing and more frequent in the days before his death, as documented in the text messages and other evidence.
Rollins added the case showed how serious domestic violence is, and that it can affect many types of victims and take many forms. She urged anyone experiencing intimate partner violence to reach out to law enforcement or community groups for help.
“We want you healthy and alive,” she said. “Please come to us for help if you feel unsafe, scared, or desperate as a result of abuse, bullying, or threats of harm or violence.”
The US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. The Trevor Project, which provides help and suicide prevention resources for LGBTQ youth, is 1-866-488-7386. You can also text TALK to 741741 for free, anonymous 24/7 crisis support in the US from the Crisis Text Line. Find other international suicide helplines at Befrienders Worldwide (befrienders.org).