Michelle Carter, a Massachusetts woman who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for encouraging her friend, Conrad Roy, to commit suicide, has been granted an early release from prison, HuffPost reports. Corrections officials say the reduction in her sentence is for good behavior.
Carter has been jailed since February 2019 after an appeal failed. She had been sentenced to serve two-and-a-half years, with all but 15 months of the sentence suspended, followed by five years’ probation, which would put her release in May 2020. However, according to a Bristol County Sheriff’s Office spokesman, Carter will actually be released a couple of months earlier, in March, due to good behavior in prison.
“Michelle Carter has earned ‘good time’ that will move up her release to March 13 from May 5,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson noted that inmates can earn credit to reduce their time, up to 10 days per month, by working in the jail or attending educational or other programs, which Carter appears to have been doing.
The announcement comes just days after Carter appeared before a parole board and was denied early release, as The Boston Globe reported this week.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, On Sunday, July 13, 2014, 18-year-old Conrad Roy committed suicide, asphyxiating himself via carbon monoxide poisoning in his pickup truck.
However, when investigators looked through Roy’s phone, they found text messages from his friend, Michelle Carter, that encouraged him to take his own life.
The two had met years prior, when they were teenagers, and they had a relationship that consisted almost entirely of text messages, phone calls, and the odd video chat. On the night of his death, police say that Roy and Carter exchanged text messages, with Roy indicating that he was ready to go through with his suicide, then later indicating that he was having second thoughts. Carter sent repeated text messages to Conrad, encouraging him to follow through with his plan to commit suicide.
A Strange Case
It was a difficult case for prosecutors to carry out. There was the issue of Carter’s age at the time of the crime. There was also the fact that Massachusetts didn’t have a specific law against encouraging someone to commit suicide. And, most importantly, there were First Amendment implications — that is, whether or not Carter’s texts were protected free speech.
Ultimately, however, a jury concluded that Carter had committed a crime, and convicted the teen of involuntary manslaughter.
In addition to serving prison time, Carter also faces a $4.2 million wrongful death lawsuit brought about by Roy’s mother.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. For readers outside the U.S., visit Suicide.org or Befrienders Worldwide for international resources you can use to find help.