Michelle Carter’s involuntary manslaughter trial in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has a new twist. According to The Independent, Carter and her attorneys are asking that her statements to police in the wake of the suicide of her boyfriend, Conrad Roy III, be declared inadmissible, along with damaging evidence found in a police search of her mobile devices. This is the first major twist in the legal case of a young woman — Michelle Carter — who is accused of having sent messages at the age of 17 to her suicidal long-distance boyfriend encouraging him to go through with the act of suicide.
Michelle Carter is now 19 years old. Conrad Roy III was 18 years old at the time of his death in July of 2014, when he committed suicide by filling his truck with carbon monoxide using a generator. Along with the shocking messages that Carter allegedly sent to Roy, one message that Carter reportedly sent to another friend claimed that during a phone conversation, she specifically told Roy to “get back in” the fume-filled truck in the moments before his death, when he was having second thoughts about going through with it.
Michelle Carter’s alleged messages to Conrad Roy III during his time of vulnerability are so stunningly callous that they have, as previously reported by the Inquisitr, generated months of outrage and mournful confusion on Twitter and other social media. Users lashed out at Michelle Carter, and wondered publicly why such a young girl would encourage her boyfriend to commit suicide. Prosecutors have stated that Carter pressured Roy to kill himself for at least a week.
Michelle Carter and Conrad Roy III maintained a primarily long-distance relationship, but Roy was not just words on a smartphone screen to Carter, as they had met in person a handful of times according to CBS News. Just this month, the Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts signed off on a grand jury decision last year to indict Michelle Carter as a youthful offender for her contributions to Roy’s death, calling it a “systematic campaign of coercion.” This followed arguments from Carter’s legal representation that her messages to Roy were protected by the First Amendment.
“If you don’t do it tonight, you’re going to be miserable.”
“You just have to do it […] tonight is the night; it’s now or never.”
“I thought you wanted to do this. The time is right and you’re ready; you just need to do it!”
“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.”
Michelle Carter and her attorneys now request that her statements to police be thrown out of court. They filed a motion to suppress evidence on Friday, stating that Carter had been unlawfully searched and interrogated on October 2, 2014, in a violation of her Fourth Amendment rights. They claim that while Carter was at school on that date, two detectives questioned her without an attorney present and while she was not under arrest.
Michelle Carter was asked for the passwords to her laptop and smartphone, where her damning messages to Conrad Roy III were found, and her attorneys say she gave police this information without having been informed of her rights. Carter’s attorneys also say that police did not have the proper search warrant.
“I believed I was obeying the laws of the Commonwealth when I was seized and the passcode to my phone and the username and password to my laptop were obtained. I did not freely consent to any search and seizure.”
Michelle Carter’s arrest warrant disputes this, according to The Independent, which reports the arrest warrant states that detectives not only had search warrants for Carter’s home and smartphone, but that she was fully informed of this before she was asked for any passwords. The judge in Carter’s manslaughter trial will hear a further 21 motions filed by her legal team on September 2, and the motion to suppress will be heard on October 14.
If Michelle Carter’s alleged messages to Conrad Roy III are genuine, what motive could she possibly have had? Will the evidence against her be declared inadmissible and thrown out?
For their part, Michelle Carter’s attorneys claim that because Massachusetts has no specific statute outlawing the encouragement of or participation in another person’s suicide, that Carter should not have been charged with manslaughter.
Michelle Carter will stand trial for involuntary manslaughter in December.
[Photo by George Rizer/The Globe via AP, Pool]