A judge sentenced Michelle Carter — the Massachusetts native who was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the suicide of her boyfriend, Conrad Roy III, after urging the 18-year-old to kill himself via text message — to two-and-a-half years in jail. All but 15 months of her 30-month sentence were suspended.
Prior to today, the 20-year-old had faced up to 20 years behind bars, while the prosecutors asked for 7 to 12 years in prison, while her defense team asked for five years of supervised probation. Shortly after Conrad — who died of carbon monoxide poisoning — took his own life in July 2014, investigators discovered the countless text messages sent by Michelle, who urged him to “get back in” his car after he expressed that he was having doubts about ending his life.
“You always say you’re gonna do it, but you never do. I just want to make sure tonight is the real thing,” she wrote in one of her final messages to Conrad. “You just have to it… It’s painless and quick.”
After Conrad’s body was discovered, she texted another friend and acknowledged that she played a role in her boyfriend’s death. She wrote, “I could have stopped it. I was on the phone with him and he got out of the car because it was working and he got scared and I [expletive] told him to get back in.”
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When she was sentenced in June of this year, Judge Lawrence Moniz explained that it was the phone calls before, as well as her lack of action when it came to encouraging him to get help, that led to his ruling. “She [instructed] Mr. Roy to get back into the truck, well-knowing of all the feelings that he [had] exchanged with her: his ambiguities, his fears, his concerns,” the judge said. “She did nothing. She did not call the police or Mr. Roy’s family. Finally, she did not issue a simple instruction: ‘Get out of the truck.’”
Shortly after today’s sentencing, Michelle’s lawyer revealed his plan to appeal her conviction. In the meantime, Judge Moniz agreed to stay her sentence until the appeal is decided upon.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255.