Trial and Error: Boston Globe Catches Up

August 26, 2015

As the hard reading staff noted yesterday, the Boston dailies have reached a split decision on which high-profile local trials they’re covering: The Globe has been on the Owen Labrie alleged rape trial, while the Herald has been all over the Michelle Carter alleged text-message manslaughter case.

Today, though, the Globe doubled down with Laura Crimaldi’s piece on Metro Page One:

‘It’s now or never,’ text said to friend

Teen urged to kill himself, DA alleges

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NEW BEDFORD — She professed her love for him and promised to care for his grieving family when he was gone. All he had to do, she said, was take some Benadryl and let a combustion engine poison him with carbon monoxide. A life without pain awaited in heaven, she said.

“You have to just do it. . . . Tonight is the night. It’s now or never,” said one of the text messages Michelle Carter, then 17, is alleged to have sent to Conrad Henri Roy III in the days before his 2014 suicide.

The text message, among thousands the pair was said to have exchanged before Roy, 18, was found dead from carbon monoxide poisoning in his truck in Fairhaven on July 13, 2014, has become public as Bristol County prosecutors fight a defense request to have the involuntary manslaughter case against Carter thrown out.

 

Not to get technical about it, but the Herald’s Jessica Heslam had that story yesterday.

Then again, at least the lately local broadsheet did something on the trial it’s been largely ignoring.

The same cannot be said for the fusty local tabloid. The Herald is still not covering the St. Paul’s School case in New Hampshire, which is odd since you’d think the class issue – fancy prep school, entitled tradition of the senior salute, etc. – would appeal to the Heraldniks.

No? Huh.

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A Trial of Two Cities

August 25, 2015

From our One Town, Two Different Worlds desk

There are currently two high-profile trials in the Boston area involving young people, but the local dailies only see one. Different ones.

The Boston Herald has gone all in on the involuntary manslaughter trial of Michelle Carter, who prosecutors say hounded New Bedford teen Conrad Roy into committing suicide last year.

Saturday’s Page One:

 

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And page 5:

 

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Today’s Herald gives Jessica Heslam’s piece all of page 3.

‘We’re doing horrible’

Grandmother: No ‘moving on’ from tragic death

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Janice Roy stood in her Mattapoisett backyard looking out at beautiful Buzzards Bay as she 
recalled her oldest grandchild, who prosecutors say took his own life last summer under pressure from his girlfriend.

A few hours earlier yesterday, Janice had sat through a gut-wrenching hearing in New Bedford Juvenile Court, where the attorney for Michelle 
Carter — the Plainville teen charged with causing the death of her beloved grandson — argued to have the involuntary manslaughter charge against her thrown out.

In one of thousands of text message exchanges, Carter told 18-year-old Conrad Roy III that his family would “get over” his suicide and “move on.”

That couldn’t be further from the truth.

 

Crosstown, the Boston Globe has limited its coverage of the Michelle Carter trial to a B2 news brief today.

 

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On the other hand, the stately local broadsheet is all over the case of Owen Labrie, the prep-school graduate accused of raping a 15-year old girl last year. We count seven pieces on the trial in the past week, with this one on Metro Page One today.

Labrie said he had sex with girl, peers testify

N.H. prep school classmates recall night of alleged rape

CONCORD, N.H. — In often crude language, four current and former students at St. Paul’s School testified Monday that Owen Labrie told them he had sex with a 15-year-old ed789e33046541b9ba64600606788ffe-3917df13d7c9453ea550a242d1384656-0girl who accuses him of rape, undercutting claims by Labrie’s defense team that the two did not have intercourse.

Andrew Thomson, who was Labrie’s roommate at the elite Concord prep school, testified that Labrie told him on the night of the alleged attack in May 2014 that he had taken the teenager’s virginity.

“He seemed a little taken aback, but overall happy” after the encounter, said Thomson, now a student at Brown University. “He seemed to be in a good mood.”

 

Not so much anymore, though.

The feisty local tabloid, meanwhile, has had nothing about the Labrie trial in its print edition, and just this Associated Press report on the web.

The hardreading staff isn’t sure there’s some deeper meaning in the split decision by the papers; we just know – say it with us – it’s good to live in a two-daily town.