Teen On Trial For Encouraging Suicide Via Texts, Boyfriend Kills Self
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is hearing arguments today regarding the 2014 death of Conrad Roy III. According to the evidence, Michelle Carter, then 17, sent dozens of texts to Roy encouraging him to kill himself. She even researched types of suicides and settled on carbon monoxide poisoning as being the best.
Michelle Carter met Roy in Florida while on vacation two years prior to the incident. They lived about an hour apart in Massachusetts and hadn’t seen each other in over a year, maintaining their relationship primarily through emails and texts.
Roy, who had a history of depression and a prior suicide attempt, confided in his girlfriend about his thoughts of suicide. Assistant District Attorney Shoshana Stern told the court that Michelle Carter put pressure on the 18-year-old using “emotional manipulation” on a vulnerable person, according to the Associated Press.
In the texts between the teens, it was clear that Carter was the instigator and Roy was doubtful.
“You have to just do it. You have everything you need. There is no way you can fail. Tonight is the night. It’s now or never.”
Roy expressed concern for his family, and Carter assured him they would be alright.
“Everyone will be sad for a while but they will get over it and move on.”
When Roy expressed second thoughts about committing suicide, Carter got angry with him.
“You always say you’re gonna do it, but you never do. I just want to make sure tonight is the real thing.”
Roy took his sisters out for ice cream, telling Carter he wanted them to know that he loved them.
“CONRAD: I just don’t know how to leave them, you know.
MICHELLE: Say you’re gonna go to the store or something.
CONRAD: Like, I want them to know that I love them.
MICHELLE: They know. That’s one thing they definitely know. You’re over thinking.
CONRAD: I know I’m over thinking. I’ve been over thinking for a while now.
MICHELLE: I know. You just have to do it like you said. Are you gonna do it now?”
On the day he died, Michelle Carter incessantly poked at the troubled young man, taunting him for being a coward.
“You can’t think about it. You just have to do it. You said you were gonna do it. Like I don’t get why you aren’t.”
Roy was found dead in his truck on July 13, 2014. He died from carbon monoxide poisoning, just like Carter had suggested.
“But I bet you’re gonna be like ‘oh, it didn’t work because I didn’t tape the tube right or something like that. I bet you’re gonna say an excuse like that…you seem to always have an excuse.”
Stern told the court that Carter even talked with Roy on the phone while he was in the truck inhaling the noxious fumes. When he got scared and got out of the truck, she told him to “get back in” and later texted a friend about it.
“Like, honestly I could have stopped it. I was the one on the phone with him and he got out of the car because [the carbon monoxide] was working and he got scared. I f**ken [sic] told him to get back in.”
Carter’s attorney Dana Curhan said that Roy would have done it anyway and that Carter had tried to talk him out of it before but had given up.
“Even when she said, ‘get back in the truck,’ that was not the proximate event that resulted in his death,” Curhan said.
Roy did get back in the truck and succumbed to the fumes. Roy’s body was found in his truck in Fairhaven with a gasoline-operated water pump in the back seat.
After the suicide, Michelle Carter pretended not to know anything about Roy’s whereabouts. She even cruelly texted one of his sisters.
“Do you know where your brother is?”
The prosecutor made it clear that Carter knew what she did was wrong in other text messages sent to a friend.
“It’s something [cops] have to do with suicides and homicides and [Roy’s mother] said they have to go through his phone and see if anyone encouraged him to do it on text and stuff. [If] they read my messages with him I’m done. His family will hate me and I can go to jail.”
Michelle Carter, who was 17 at the time of the incident, may receive up to 20 years for manslaughter. Her attorney claims the texts are protected by “free speech,” according to ABC News.
[Photo by John Wilcox/AP Images]