DEATH BY TEXT: Carter Found Guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter After Convincing Boyfriend To Commit Suicide
Back in 2014, 17-year-old Michelle Carter repeatedly urged her boyfriend, 18-year-old Conrad Roy, to commit suicide until he carried out the act. This past week, Carter was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. The text message exchanges between Carter and Roy that led to her conviction, as she nearly begs him to kill himself.
On July 13th, 2014, Roy’s body was found inside of his pickup truck where he suffered carbon monoxide poisoning as police found a gas-operated water pump in the back seat of his car. Carter was texting Roy while inside the truck as one of the last people he had spoken to.
At one point, Roy second guessed his decision and Carter actually told him to get back in the car after he briefly exited.
“It’s my fault. I told him to get back in the car,” Carter texted to a friend of hers, describing her involvement in Roy’s death.
Roy had a history of mental illness, and attempted suicide before. Carter tried to convince Roy to seek help in a mental hospital before exploring suicide but she essentially decided that it’d be better for him to take his own life, claiming that she just wanted him to finally be at peace. Reading back on the texts between the two, it almost seems like she bullied him into it; at one point, he even apologizes for not being dead yet.
The prosecution argued that Michelle Carter wanted to play the “grieving girlfriend” to her friends and just wanted attention. The defense, on the other hand, tried to argue that Carter was protected under the first amendment (freedom of speech) and that her words can’t be held accountable for Roy’s history with depression. They also blamed her reckless language on side effects from an antidepressant that she was taking at the time, claiming that this kind of behavior was out of character.
The case gained international attention after text exchanges between the two became public – needless to say, the world lost it’s mind and deemed Carter as “morally heartless.” Others argued that while her behavior was disgusting, it wasn’t the ultimate factor that led to Roy’s death.
Michelle Carter and Conrad Roy met two years prior to Roy’s death while on vacation in Florida, both visiting relatives. Their relationship consisted mostly of texts and emails with little face to face interactions despite living only 30 minutes apart.
In the end, it was Carter’s final instructions demanding Roy to get back into the vehicle that led to her guilty conviction, a unanimous decision of the jury.