Support the news

Boston College Student Charged In Boyfriend's Suicide Pleads Not Guilty02:09

Inyoung You arrives at Suffolk Superior Court in Boston (Michael Dwyer/AP)
Inyoung You arrives at Suffolk Superior Court in Boston (Michael Dwyer/AP)

A former Boston College student charged with involuntary manslaughter for allegedly encouraging her boyfriend to take his life has pleaded not guilty.

Inyoung You, 21, was arraigned Friday morning in Suffolk Superior Court after returning to the U.S. from South Korea, where she has been since the charges were announced last month.

Prosecutors say You sent Alexander Urtula, of Cedar Grove, New Jersey, more than 47,000 text messages in the last two months of the relationship, including many urging him to "go kill yourself."

Prosecutors read a litany of expletive-laden text messages, in which You requently called her boyfriend worthless and encouraged him to kill himself. You also indicated she'd take her own life if Alexander Urtula did not commit suicide.

Urtula died in Boston on May 20, the day of his Boston College graduation.

During her arraignment, prosecutors said You became upset when she found out Urtula had been communicating with an ex-girlfriend.

They say that You also threatened to harm herself and that Urtula was afraid to leave her.

She was taken into custody on $5,000 bail. Her lawyer said she would post bail immediately. You, who was born in South Korea and is a naturalized U.S. citizen, was also ordered to surrender her passport.

Earlier this week You, through a public relations firm, released text messages suggesting she tried to stop Urtula and alerted Urtula's brother in the moments before his death.

Speaking after the arraignment, You's attorney, Steven Kim, said "so-called progressive" Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins doesn't have a case, and that it's "a cheap attempt to grab headlines." He refused to answer follow-up questions from reporters.

"It'd be one thing if this DA though she has a case, which she doesn't," Kim said. "After the indictment came down, she waited several days for a slow news cycle and then held a press conference and decided to paint a fragile 21-year-old as a monster to the entire world."

Outside of the courthouse, Rollins took issue with Kim's remarks.

"We are very confident in our case and we will hold this person accountable. I said such to the Urtula family yesterday and we are prepared to move forward," she said.

Urtula's relatives say they are devastated by his death and won't be commenting on the proceedings.

You's trial date was set for Nov. 9, 2020.

Resources: You can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and the Samaritans Statewide Hotline at 1-877-870-HOPE (4673). The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

This article was originally published on November 21, 2019.

This segment aired on November 22, 2019.


Quincy Walters Twitter Reporter
Quincy Walters is a general assignment reporter for WBUR.


+Join the discussion

Support the news