The trial involving a 20-year-old Massachusetts girl who encouraged her boyfriend to kill himself over text has come to a verdict. Michelle Carter, who was 17 at the time of her boyfriend Conrad Roy’s death in 2014, has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.
Roy killed himself on July 12, 2014 by inhaling carbon monoxide produced by a water pump in his truck. Carter knew of her boyfriend's whereabout and intentions and did nothing to stop him. When he texted her that he was “scared,” Carter told him to “get back in” his truck according to text messages the two exchanged.
Carter’s defense team said that Roy was suicidal and was already on the path to take his own life — and had been for years. Although, Roy did have a history of mental illness and had attempted suicide in the past, Judge Lawrence Moniz — who decided Carter’s fate because she waived the right to a jury trial — said her actions were “wanton and reckless conduct.”
“She instructs Roy to get back in the truck knowing of all the feelings he has exchanged with her; his ambiguities, his fears, his concerns,” Moniz said. “This out finds that by instructing Mr. Roy to get back in the truck constitutes as wanton and reckless conduct by Ms. Carter, creating a situation where there is a high degree of likelihood that substantial harm would result to Mr. Roy.”
Prosecutors argued that Carter pressured Roy to commit suicide through a series of phone calls and text messages. They said that she even instructed him as to when and how to do it, using him as a “pawn” because she wanted to be “the grieving girlfriend” to gain attention.
Although Carter’s defense argued that Roy would’ve taken his life eventually, Moniz said at the trial on Friday that it was “irrelevant” to the court whether or not he would’ve committed suicide “at another time.”
Carter faces up to 20 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter. Moniz did not revoke Carter’s bail and her sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 3.
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