Michelle Carter, a 20-year-old Massachusetts woman who sent her boyfriend text messages encouraging him to kill himself, has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter
A Bristol Juvenile Court judge found that Carter, who was 17-years-old at the time of the incident, caused the death of then boyfriend Conrad Roy III.
Carter was 17 when she sent Roy messages encouraging him to take his end his life. Roy, 18, was found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning in his truck in Fairhaven, Massachusetts on July 12, 2014.
Prosecutors say Carter urged Roy to “get back in” when he got out of his truck, while Carter’s lawyer argued that Roy had a history of depression and suicide attempts.
“She called no one, and finally she did not issue a simple additional instruction: Get out of the truck,” Bristol County Juvenile Court Judge Lawrence Moniz said as Carter stood to receive the ruling.
“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.”
The defendant, who was tried as a juvenile because of her age at the time of the crime, cried silently as Moniz spent about 15 minutes explaining the rationale for his decision before announcing the ruling. Roy’s relatives, who sat near her in the first row, wept as Moniz ticked through the steps Roy took to end his life, as well as Carter’s complicity.
The judge decided to allow Carter to remain free on bail until her sentencing on August 3, however, she was ordered to have no contact with members of the Roy family, cannot apply for or obtain a passport, nor can she leave Massachusetts without permission from a judge.
Carter faces up to 20 years in prison.