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Tulane expert says parents should talk to kids about Massachusetts manslaughter case

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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

A manslaughter case grabs the nation's attention. Now, the defendant has been sentenced to 15 months in jail after she urged her boyfriend to commit suicide. 

Through text messages, Michelle Carter told her boyfriend to kill himself. Conrad Roy III was later found dead from carbon monoxide poisoning. He was only 18. In June, Carter, who is now 20, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. 

Tulane University social media expert Ashley Nelson doesn't believe the case will set a precedent

"Because it happened in Massachusetts and everyone has different laws, what's going to be interesting to see what happens on appeal and then what are people going to say okay so this happened how can we apply an outcome to a different situation," said Nelson. 

FOX 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti says there's a law in Louisiana that would make encouraging someone to commit suicide a felony offense.  

"It's not unprecedented and we actually have a law in Louisiana,14-32.12 I believe, and it says you can't do this, you can't assist someone by giving them the gun or the knife for instance or encouraging them to kill themselves, that is a crime, it's a felony and you can get up to 10 years in prison," said Raspanti.  

And Nelson says in the age of social media, parents need to talk to their children about the case.  

"Oh definitely, you know it always comes back to we give these kids the phone and a lot of parents say oh I don't know what really goes on there and then there are other people who do pay attention right, but I think you just kind of have to have a conversation with your children and say hey did you hear about this and you know what's appropriate and what's not. I mean you have to do it with any new piece of equipment, you're not going to give a person a car and the keys and just say see ya later," said Nelson. 

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