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The Massachusetts woman who was convicted of goading her boyfriend by text to kill himself got a shout out of support Friday from another young woman who was trapped in the eye of a news storm — Amanda Knox.
"When I was on trial for murder in Italy, the media tried to paint me as a 'femme fatale,'" Knox wrote in an opinion piece for the Los Angeles Times. "So it was with a sickening sense of déjà vu that I watched the prosecution attempt the same trick with (Michelle) Carter."
"Carter may not be innocent in a moral or philosophical sense, but she was wrongfully convicted," added Knox, whose murder conviction in a winding, years-long saga was thrown out by an Italian court in 2015.
Knox weighed in after 20-year-old Carter was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for encouraging 18-year-old Conrad Roy to take his own life in 2014. She was sentenced Thursday to 15 months in jail, but will remain free pending appeals.
"It's hard to feel sympathy for Carter, who was wrong to instruct Roy over the phone to get back into the truck in which he was poisoning himself with carbon monoxide," Knox wrote.
But she is not the monster prosecutors have made her out to be, Knox insisted.
"For months leading up to Roy's suicide, Carter advised Roy against self-harm and to seek counseling," Knox wrote. "Every time she urged Roy toward professional help, she implicitly admitted, 'I am not enough.'"
Also, Knox wrote, Roy bears some responsibility.
"The suicide is his own victim, his own murderer," she wrote. "We naturally want to blame someone for the murder, but we're reluctant to further condemn the victim. The emotional paradox makes it hard for us to find closure. But with Roy's suicide, we have, in the person of Carter, another party to hold responsible."
Carter was 17 when she convinced Roy — during a 47-minute phone call — to climb back into a truck that was filling up fast with carbon monoxide after he told her he was too scared to go through with the suicide, prosecutors charged.
At the time, Carter was 30 miles away from the parking lot where Roy killed himself and she was still on the phone and listening when he choked to death on the fumes, they said.
Roy's mother, Lynn Roy, filed a $4.2 million wrongful death lawsuit Friday against Carter in Norfolk Superior Court. One of her lawyers, Eric Goldman, said she hopes to create a memorial for her son.
Knox, 30, knows what it's like to be burned by the harsh spotlight. She was a 20-year-old American exchange student in the Italian town of Perugia when she and an ex-boyfriend were charged in 2007 with the brutal murder of her British roommate.
Convicted of murder after a trial that drew worldwide attention, Knox served four years in a tough Italian prison before she was acquitted in 2011 and allowed to return home to Seattle. Italy’s highest court overturned her murder conviction in 2015.