Woman convicted of involuntary manslaughter in boyfriend’s suicide sentenced to 15 months
Michelle Carter’s own words helped seal her involuntary manslaughter conviction in the suicide of her boyfriend Conrad Roy III.
Roy, 18, poisoned himself by inhaling carbon monoxide in his pickup truck in 2014.
Hundreds of Carter’s text messages presented as evidence over six days of testimony in June convinced a Massachusetts judge of her guilt in a criminal case that hinged largely on the teenage couple’s intimate cellphone exchanges.
Carter sent Roy numerous text messages urging him to commit suicide, listened over the phone as he suffocated — and failed to alert authorities or his family that he’d died.
Carter: “You can’t keep doing this everyday”
Roy: “Okay I’m gonna do it today”
Carter: “Do you promise”
Roy: “I promise babe”
Roy: “I have to now”
Carter: “Like right now?”
Roy: “where do I go? :(”
Carter: “And u can’t break a promise. And just go in a quiet parking lot or something.”
Roy’s relatives, who sat near Carter in the front row of the courtroom, wept as the judge ticked through the steps Roy took to end his life, as well as Carter’s complicity. Sitting opposite them, Carter’s family members also sobbed.
Carter went from offering “words of kindness and love” to aggressively encouraging Roy via text message to carry out longtime threats to commit suicide.
“It got to the point that he was apologizing to her, … apologizing to her for not being dead yet,” prosecutors said during closing arguments.
The judge ultimately agreed.
“She admits in … texts that she did nothing: She did not call the police or Mr. Roy’s family” after hearing his last breaths during a phone call, Moniz said as Carter cried silently. “And, finally, she did not issue a simple additional instruction: Get out of the truck.”
She was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, and was sentenced to a two-and-a-half-year term, with 15 months in prison and the balance suspended plus a period of supervised probation.
The case, which could lead to new state laws about pressuring someone to kill themselves, has been closely watched by legal analysts.