Michelle Carter found guilty of involuntary manslaughter after texting her boyfriend to suicide


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Michelle Carter found guilty of involuntary manslaughter after texting her boyfriend to suicide

‘She did not issue a simple instruction: Get out of the truck’

Michelle Carter, on trial for involuntary manslaughter, was just found guilty.

Carter, 20, was accused of persuading her boyfriend, Conrad Roy III, to kill himself via text in 2014. The couple met in Florida in 2012, but had only hung out in person a handful of times.

Prosecutors alleged Carter engaged in a “sick game of life and death,” triggering the 18-year-old boy’s suicide. “Stop thinking and just do it,” she said in a message. Read the rest of the texts she sent him here.

On July 12, Roy died of carbon monoxide poisoning in his pickup truck in a store parking lot in Fairhaven. In a 45 minute phone call immediately preceding his death, Roy allegedly got out of the vehicle.

In a message Carter later sent a friend, she said: “I fucken told him to get back in . . . His death is my fault.”

(Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Judge Lawrence Moniz issued the verdict at 11am Friday morning, saying “Whether Mr. Roy in this case would have taken his life at another time does not inform this court’s decision.”

“She indicated that she can hear him coughing, and she can hear the loud noise of the motor.

“She did not notify his mother, or his sister, even though just several days before that, she had requested their phone numbers from Mr. Roy, and obtained them. She called no one. And finally she did not issue a simple additional instruction: Get out of the truck.

“Ms. Carter’s actions, and also her failure to act where she had a duty to Mr. Roy, since she had put him into that toxic environment, caused the death of Mr. Roy.”

Carter was indicted in 2015 and appealed the judgement. Last summer, the Supreme Court ruled she could stand trial for her alleged role in Roy’s death.

In closing statements, the defense argued her alleged inability to physically force him to do anything, while the prosecution argued her “desire for attention and feeling of being trapped,” after she’d “promised friends he was missing.” They claimed she pushed him to kill himself so that she could be the “grieving girlfriend.”

The defense claimed Carter was unstable due to her psychiatric medication, and couldn’t be held accountable for her actions. Following his death, Carter sent Roy more than 80 texts, saying things like “I love you so much,” and “You fucking did it and I’m so sorry I didn’t save you.”

She has been allowed to remain on bail with no contact to the Roy family: “No texting, no Facebook, no Snapchat.”

The sentencing hearing is scheduled for the week of July 31.

  • @carolinephinney