According to the latest update on Michelle Carter, the teen who allegedly urged her friend to commit suicide, sources say she is going to trial on manslaughter charges. Meanwhile, critics are lashing out at Carter for her role in purportedly persuading Conrad Roy III to kill himself, according to a UPI News story.
On Friday, Massachusetts’ Supreme Judicial Court ruled in favor of a recent grand jury’s decision about Carter’s alleged involvement in the death of her boyfriend. The ruling was unanimous, and it marked a milestone for the high court: it was the first time justices ruled that a charge of involuntary manslaughter could stand on “the basis of words alone.” Justice Robert Cordy authored the court’s opinion.
“We conclude that, on the evidence presented to the grand jury, the verbal conduct at issue was sufficient and, because a conviction of involuntary manslaughter is punishable by imprisonment in State prison and inherently involves the infliction of serious bodily harm, the grand jury properly returned an indictment under the youthful offender statute.”
Back in 2014, the case made national headlines when 18-year-old Conrad committed suicide in a Kmart store’s parking lot. The case shook up social media and was carried on national networks when evidence emerged that Michelle was partly responsible for the young man taking his life.
— Jezebel (@Jezebel) July 2, 2016
The pair met online in 2012 and entered into a romantic relationship. However, for two years they only met a few times in person, according to court documents.
During Roy III’s depressive episode, he communicated with Carter, 17, at the time, by mobile phone. Criminal investigators probed phone records and learned that Michelle took part in helping Conrad do online searches for dying by means of carbon monoxide poisoning.
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) July 2, 2016
Furthermore, transcripts from their text messages confirmed that Michelle encouraged Conrad on to “get back in” the truck at a critical time when he considered calling off his suicide attempt on July 13. Meanwhile, Carter ignored his cues and texted friends while Roy was in a crisis.
Apparently, Conrad tried to take his life in the past, but his family believed he was over that troublesome part of his life and was happy about his future ahead, according to his grandmother, who said, “He seemed to be pulling out of it.”
Police say Carter grew tired of Roy’s ongoing talk about suicide and decided it was best that he follow through with his plans, according to some damning text messages.
“You’re finally going to be happy in heaven. No more pain,” Michelle told him in one message. “It’s okay to be scared and it’s normal. I mean, you’re about to die.”
“You always say you’re gonna do it, but you never do. I just want to make sure tonight is the real thing.”
“You can’t keep pushing it off, though. That’s all you keep doing.”
At one point, Roy seemed to digress and talk about other things, but Carter redirected him back to his plans for suicide.
ROY: How was your day?
CARTER: When are you doing it?
Despite Roy indicating he was having a good day, Carter appeared to be focused on his suicidal thoughts and plan.
CARTER: That’s great. What did you do?
ROY: Ended up going to work for a little bit and then just looked stuff up.
CARTER: When are you gonna do it? Stop ignoring the question???
Another troublesome part of Michelle Carter’s exchange with Conrad Roy was her reminding her despondent friend that if he were to follow the online directions about how to die, it would “100 percent work.”
She followed it up with saying there was nothing anyone could do to save him from his situation (depression), “not even yourself.” And then, records show Michelle suggested he take “medication” to fall asleep and let the exhaust fumes work.
Months later, investigators say Carter sent her friend, Samantha, a chilling text message about telling Conrad to get back in the vehicle.
“Like, honestly I could have stopped it. I was on the phone with him and he got out of the car.”
The court said Carter displayed “wanton or reckless conduct” that eventually played a role in Conrad ending his life. Roy’s grandfather expressed his approval over the decision by the court to take the matter to trial.
“I hope they hold her accountable for her actions. She told him to get back in the truck. She prodded him on. All of the text messages are pretty much self-explanatory.”
Carter’s lawyer, Joseph Cataldo, disagreed with the court, saying that Roy “caused his own death.” He also expressed confidence that prosecutors will not meet the standard of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
[Photo by John Wilcox/The Boston Herald via AP Images Pool]