On the day of his college graduation, just a few hours before he was set to get his diploma from Boston College, 22-year-old Filipino American Alexander Urtula of Cedar Grove, New Jersey, leaped from a parking garage to his death.
Last Friday, his girlfriend, Inyoung You, who was indicted for coercing Urtula into suicide — appeared in court in Boston, Massachusetts.
At the arraignment, Suffolk assistant District Attorney Caitlin Grasso read a detailed summary of what the DA’s office claimed is strong evidence of how Urtula’s relationship with you was a direct cause of his death.
Grasso said they believe You’s abuse began when she found out that Urtula was talking to his ex-girlfriend. And as graduation approached, You became upset at the thought of Urtula seeing all his friends and possibly his ex-girlfriend at the ceremony.
The DA said in the months leading to Urtula’s death, the two exchanged over 75,000 text messages — most messages were from you who worked to isolate Urtula from his friends and family.
Meanwhile, You’s lawyer argued that the two were both emotionally needy young adults whose relationship had become toxic.
You’s lawyer claimed the DA cherry-picked messages to support their case.
“Who knows what’s going through her mind about why she deserves to treat him this way.”
Fil-Am psychologist Dr. Leilani Salvo crane said that as a community, Filipinos, like other Asian Americans, are just starting to be okay with seeking help for mental health.
“The vast majority of Filipinos are Catholic so they’ll go to the church, they’ll go to the priest. They’ll pray. The difficulty is there’s some things that can’t be prayed away. Yes of course, we can hand it over to God — but there’s some things in the here and now — severe mental illness for instance that needs to be talked about without shame.”
You, a South Korean native, was granted a $5,000 bail — and was ordered to surrender her passport.
A trial date has been set for November 2020. If convicted, You faces up to 20 years in prison.