Michelle Carter is facing involuntary manslaughter charges after sending her boyfriend a series of text messages which a judge says were “manipulative and coercive.” In fact, the judge noted that Conrad Roy would still be alive today had Carter not used the influence she had over the victim to order him to take his own life.
Buzzfeed reports that Michelle Carter will stand trial for involuntary manslaughter in the death of her boyfriend, Conrad Roy. In a string of text messages presented in court, it was revealed that Carter made her boyfriend, Conrad Roy, “promise” he would kill himself and discussed the method of his death in the days leading up to his actual suicide. Though Carter admits that she told Roy to kill himself, her lawyer says that she can’t be held responsible for his death because “verbal conduct can never overcome a person’s willpower to live, and therefore cannot be the cause of a suicide.” However, the judge disagrees noting that Carter had influence over the young man and that her final directive given to the teen was to “get back in” after the frightened teen exited his truck which was filling with carbon monoxide.
The judge’s ruling was based on the notion that Carter had a strong influence over Conrad and that she used that influence to coerce the teen into taking his own life. The judge reviewed transcripts of text messages sent by Michelle Carter to Conrad Roy in the days leading up to his death when making the final decision on if the involuntary manslaughter case could go to trial. The damning text messages show that Carter not only encouraged Roy to kill himself, but even helped him decide how he would do it.
The full transcript of the text messages can be viewed on the Massachusetts government website and they highlight the role that Michelle played in her boyfriend’s death. Though the young woman was not present at the time that Conrad took his life, she was speaking with him via text message. Roy had parked his truck in an empty parking lot and started up a gasoline powered water pump inside his closed vehicle. The pump produced carbon monoxide which would eventually kill the teen. However, at one point during his suicide, Roy became frightened and left his truck for fresh air. Instead of offering help, Michelle Carter told her boyfriend to “get back in,” a final directive that would ultimately end Roy’s young life.
Carter also helped Roy come up with the way he would ultimately commit suicide. She had researched carbon monoxide deaths with Roy in the days leading up to his death and had discussed the use of a gas-powered water pump or generator to get the job done. Roy would follow through on these recommendations and purchase a gas-powered water pump which he would ultimately use to kill himself.
In addition to giving Roy the manner of which to kill himself, Carter’s text messages also reveal she had told him where to commit suicide by telling him a quiet parking lot would be best. Roy would end up killing himself in a vacant store parking lot.
Ultimately, the judge ruled that Michelle’s words were enough to support the involuntary manslaughter charges.
“The grand jury heard evidence suggesting a systematic campaign of coercion on which the virtually present defendant embarked — captured and preserved through her text messages — that targeted the equivocating young victim’s insecurities and acted to subvert his willpower in favor of her own. On the specific facts of this case, there was sufficient evidence to support a probable cause finding that the defendant’s command to the victim in the final moments of his life to follow through on his suicide attempt was a direct, causal link to his death.”
What do you think about Michelle Carter facing involuntary manslaughter charges for the suicide death of her boyfriend? Was she using the power she had over Conrad to ensure that he committed suicide so that she could remain in the spotlight after his death as the court proceedings suggest? Could the case pave the way for future involuntary manslaughter charges to be filed against people accused of bullying a victim to the point of suicide? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
[Photo by Peter Pereira/The New Bedford Standard Times via AP, Pool, File]