Conrad Roy III’s Family Claims Michelle Carter’s First Amendment Suicide Defense Is ‘Grasping At Straws’

In the death of Conrad Roy III, Michelle Carter’s suicide texts are the linchpin upon which the entire murder trial hangs. The defense lawyers are claiming that Carter’s text messages are protected by the U.S. First Amendment, which they claim means she can not be criminally prosecuted for allegedly persuading her boyfriend to commit suicide.

In a related report by the Inquisitr, attorney Joseph P. Cataldo told the judge that it was actually Conrad Roy who was responsible for Michelle Carter’s suicide plan. The lawyer claims Roy actually “brainwashed” Carter into going along with his plan.

“He ultimately persuaded a young, impressionable girl,” Cataldo claims. “Eventually he gets her to endorse his plan.”

The lawyer claims that Michelle Carter’s suicide texts did not start until after her boyfriend suggested they both commit suicide together “like Romeo and Juliet.” In response, Carter allegedly replied, “(Expletive), no we are not dying.”

According to the Boston Herald, the attorney argues that Conrad Roy’s phone records proves that Carter first attempted to talk him out of committing suicide.

“Even with the district attorney’s release of some text messages nothing has changed,” Cataldo said. “It should be further noted the district attorney did not release all the various text messages which showed for months prior to Conrad Roy’s suicide Miss Carter continuously requested he seek help. Further the Internet search evidence obtained from Mr. Roy’s cellphone also demonstrates Conrad Roy himself searched and planned his own death.”

But the newly released messages shows that Michelle Carter’s suicide texts allegedly encouraged Roy to commit suicide by saying “tonight is the night” and “you just have to do it.” Carter even gave Roy a backup plan should the carbon monoxide poisoning fall through, telling him to “try the bag or hanging.” Carter also wrote to a friend that if “they read my messages with him I’m done… His family will hate me and I could go to jail.”

Regardless, Michelle Carter’s lawyer argues that the text messages can’t be used as evidence since they are protected under the First Amendment.

“I continue to maintain that no crime was committed,” Cataldo said. “Michelle took no actions and her speech in the form of text messages and telephone calls do not amount to a crime…. Although the district attorney’s office does not like the content of the speech, it is speech which is constitutionally protected by the First Amendment and is not criminalized under our laws.”

Conrad Roy III’s family disagrees with this argument.

“I think he’s grasping at straws,” Becki Maki told People. “She was inciting him to cause harm to himself [and] taking advantage of someone that she knew was depressed and vulnerable.”

According to WWLP, Janice Roy, Conrad’s grandmother, said, “If she really loved him as she said she did, why didn’t she try to persuade him not to. Every day you wake up and think why, why, why.”

The Michelle Carter trial is scheduled to have another court hearing on October 2, 2015. The judge will then consider the First Amendment argument and whether there is enough evidence to move ahead with the case.

[Image via Roy Family]