Parker Hogan, a New Hampshire teenager, has been charged with aiding a suicide after allegedly helping his roommate figure out the best way to shoot himself, WMUR-TV (Manchester) is reporting.
Michael Buskey was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound earlier this month, his body having been found in the woods near his apartment in Plymouth.
Buskey’s mother, Jennifer Phelps, admits that her son had “problems” in the past, but said that he was getting better. Because of this, she says, something didn’t add up.
“I think there’s a lot more behind it. My personal opinion — I can’t speak for anybody else — in my personal opinion, I think there’s a lot more behind it than meets the eye.”
In fact, according to prosecutors, there is more to the story: they say that Buskey’s roommate both helped him practice shooting himself and helped him figure out the best way to carry out his suicide. What’s more, they say, Buskey tampered with evidence in the case.
On the day of the suicide, according to court documents, Hogan allegedly went into the woods with his roommate and practiced how Buskey would do it. Then, they say, Hogan walked away and stayed out of sight until he heard a gunshot. He then allegedly returned to where Buskey was, confirmed that he was dead, and then waited a day to report the suicide.
Further, Hogan allegedly got rid of a suicide note and wiped fingerprints off of the gun, according to Yahoo News. For legal analyst Kirsten Wilson, that makes a pretty solid case that Hogan knew what was going to happen.
Aiding a suicide is a crime in New Hampshire — and in fact, all 50 states, according to FindLaw. In New Hampshire, it’s a Class B felony, according to prosecutor Paul Fitzgerald, meaning that Hogan is facing anywhere from three and a half to seven years behind bars.
This is not the first time that a teenager has found their self in trouble with the law over a peer’s suicide. As the New York Post reports, back in 2014 Michelle Carter, of Massachusetts, exchanged a series of text messages with her friend, encouraging him to take his own life. Though they were hundreds of miles apart when Conrad Roy III took his life, Carter was still charged with involuntary manslaughter, in part because, in at least one text, she encouraged her friend to go back into his truck to asphyxiate himself via carbon monoxide poisoning after he had apparently had second thoughts. Carter was sentenced to two and a half years in prison.