Michelle Carter, 20, now faces up to 20 years in prison after she was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for her involvement in the death of her boyfriend, Conrad Roy III, in 2014. Carter had sent Roy, who was 18 at the time of his death, dozens of text messages urging him to kill himself.
Carter had been charged with involuntary manslaughter based on the texts she sent Roy prior to his suicide in 2014. Dozens of messages were found where Carter encouraged Roy to take his own life, which he ultimately did.
Roy was found dead on July 12, 2014, in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. He had filled his truck with carbon monoxide.
As reported by the Daily Mail, Roy contacted Carter as his truck was filling with the deadly gas. He told Carter he was scared, but she urged him to continue and to get back in the truck.
Judge Lawrence Moniz determined Carter’s actions were “reckless,” especially since “she did not issue a simple additional instruction: Get out of the truck.” He also stated that Carter had a responsibility to call for help once she knew Roy was attempting to commit suicide. However, she did not contact the authorities or his family.
Carter burst into tears after hearing the Massachusetts judge’s ruling on the case.
After the verdict, Roy’s father, Conrad Roy Jr., spoke briefly to thank the police, prosecutors, and judge involved in the case. He said, “On behalf of our entire family, I would like to say how thankful we are to Judge Moniz and the prosecution team – mainly Katie Rayburn, Maryclare Flynn, and Scott Gordon – and the Plainville Police Department and the Massachusetts State Police.”
He went on to say, “This has been a very tough time for our family, and we’d like to process this verdict that we are happy with.”
The trial put focus on the question regarding whether a person’s words can make the culpable in the death of another.
Prosecutors in the case had argued the text messages sent by Carter pressured Roy into taking his own life.
One such text said, “I thought you wanted to do this. The time is right and you’re ready, you just need to do it. You can’t keep living this way.”
“Everyone will be sad for a while, but they will get over it and move on. They won’t be in depression I won’t let that happen.”
Another message read, “You’re ready and prepared. All you have to do is turn the generator on and you bee free and happy. No more pushing it off, no more waiting.”
In Massachusetts, a person can be found guilty of involuntary manslaughter when someone causes the death or another when engaging in reckless or wanton conduct that creates a high degree of likelihood of substantial harm.
Carter, who faces up to 20 years in prison, will be sentenced on August 3.