Michelle Carter, a Massachusetts woman who, as a teen, convinced her friend to commit suicide and was later sent to prison for it, has been released, NBC News reports. She was scheduled to serve a few more months but released early for good behavior.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Carter has been behind bars since February 2019. It was then that she reported to prison to serve a 15-month sentence, after having gone through several appeals — appeals which were denied. Even as she was in her prison cell, her attorneys were attempting to get her case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, which ultimately declined to hear her case, letting her conviction stand.
Though her prison sentence would have kept her incarcerated until May, Carter earned credit for attending programs and generally being a “model inmate.”
“There have been no problems and she has been attending programs, which is common at state facilities like the Bristol County House of Correction. Ms. Carter… is getting along with other inmates, is polite to our staff and volunteers, and we’ve had no discipline issues at all,” said Jonathan Darling, a spokesperson for the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office, earlier this month.
On Wednesday, as Carter walked out of Bristol County Jail a free woman, Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson said that the young woman had served her debt to society and that she has earned her freedom.
“She has completed her sentence and completed her obligation,” he said.
Michelle Carter’s parents are on their way to pick her up. Media is lined up waiting to see if we will catch a glimpse of her walking out. @wbz Carter has served just under a year of her 15 month sentence after being convicted of involuntary manslaughter. pic.twitter.com/tTsjOJIfCp— Lisa Gresci (@Lisa_Gresci) January 23, 2020
Carter left the facility flanked by guards. Carrying what were presumably her belongings in bags, she was greeted by her parents and attorney, who drove off without comment.
What she will do for the rest of her life remains unclear. She certainly won’t be able to sell her story for a book, TV, or movie rights, as the conditions of her release prevent her from profiting from her story.
On July 13, 2014, when Carter was just 17-years-old, she and her friend, Conrad Roy, exchanged a series of text messages. Roy, who had suffered from mental illness and depression for much of his life, was attempting to commit suicide by filling his pickup truck’s cab with carbon monoxide via a hose taped to the exhaust pipe.
At one point during his suicide attempt, Roy texted Carter that he was having second thoughts. Carter told him, in a phone call, to get back into the truck.
Carter was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, even though her lawyers argued that her texts and phone calls were protected free speech.
Massachusetts has since passed “Conrad’s Law,” making it a specific crime to encourage or coerce someone to commit suicide.
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.