Michelle Carter Guilty for Urging Boyfriend to Commit Suicide
In a case that was decided mostly based on text messages, a Massachusetts Judge has found Michelle Carter, 20, guilty of involuntary manslaughter for the 2014 death of her ex-boyfriend Conrad Roy III. He poisoned himself by inhaling carbon monoxide in this truck.
With this guilty verdict, Carter could serve up to 20 years in a juvenile detention facility.
In 2014, police found Conrad Roy III, then 18, dead in his truck that was parked in an empty lot outside a Kmart store in Fairhaven, MA. Also in the car was a gas-powered water pump that filtered carbon monoxide into the car. Roy had committed suicide.
Police investigation into the case uncovered multiple text message conversations between Roy and Carter discussing the topic of his suicide. Based on the language of Carter’s texts, prosecutors said she was encouraging his suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
“You’re finally going to be happy in heaven. No more pain. It’s okay to be scared and it’s normal. I mean, you’re about to die,” reads one of Carter’s messages.
In other messages, Roy said “I’m overthinking,” and Carter responded “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. You just need to do it like you did last time and not think about it and just do it babe. You can’t keep doing this every day.”
Throughout the trial, the prosecutor and defense had one important question to answer: Are text messages enough evidence to prove that Carter is guilty?
The prosecution thought so. Carter’s defense team argued that Carter was not even with Roy at the time of the suicide.
By definition, to be found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, an individual was killed as a result of another individuals actions.
In explaining the guilty verdict, Bristol County Juvenile Court Judge Lawrence Moniz explained that carter’s own words, preserved in hundreds of text messages helped seal her conviction.
“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. “And, finally, she did not issue a simple additional instruction: Get out of the truck.”
Carter sobbed silently after the verdict was read.
The Judge agreed with the prosecutor’s arguments that Carter listened over the phone while Roy committed suicide, urged the teen to commit suicide and did not alert authorities or Roy’s family after he died.
“This court has found that Carter’s actions and failure to act where it was her self-created duty to Roy since she put him in that toxic environment constituted reckless conduct,” the judge said. “The court finds that the conduct caused the death of Mr. Roy.”
“This court, having reviewed the evidence, finds you guilty on the indictment with involuntary manslaughter,” the Judge said in reading the verdict.
Prosecutor Katie Rayburn said that though she was pleased with the verdict, there are no winners in the case.
“Although we are very pleased with the verdict, in reality there are no winners here,” she told reporters later. “Two families had been torn apart and will be affected by this for years to come. We hope verdict will bring some closure… It’s been an extremely emotionally draining process for everyone involved.”
Conrad Roy Jr., Roy’s father said his death has been tough on thew whole family.
“This has been a very tough time for our family, and we would just like to process this verdict that we are happy with.”
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