Woman accused of urging boyfriend to commit suicide through text message sentenced to 15 months in prison
MASSACHUSETTS (KUSI) — Michelle Carter, the woman who urged her boyfriend through calls and text messages to commit suicide, was sentenced Thursday to a 2.5-year prison term.
Carter was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the 2014 death of Conrad Roy.
A judge sentenced Carter to 15 months behind bars for her role in encouraging Roy to take his life.
While Carter’s full sentence was two and a half years, with 15 months suspended, she won’t be in prison, but on probation, after a judge granted a stay while the case is appealed.
"I don’t understand how a month ago, it’s a guilty verdict. Now, the family was told there might be some justice to have her go home tonight and have a nice meal," said Jimmy Brodeur, a family member of Roy’s.
Judge Lawrence Moniz made a case for rehabilitation.
"This court must and has balanced between rehabilitation, the promise that rehabilitation would work and a punishment for the actions that have occurred," he said.
The now 20-year-old was convicted of involuntary manslaughter two months ago after police found she urged Roy to kill himself through hundreds of chilling text messages.
The prosecution argued her tests were like a lethal weapon, manipulating Roy, who suffered from depression, to take his own life by filling his truck cab with toxic fumes.
"The defendant undertook a deliberate well-thought out campaign to cause the death of Conrad Henry Roy," said Maryclare Flynn, the Assistant District Attorney.
In a powerful plea to the court, Roy’s father laid out his family’s devastation.
"Michelle Carter exploited my son’s weaknesses and used him as a pawn," Conrad Roy Jr. said.
Carter was convicted of involuntary manslaughter two months ago. Prosecutors argued that Carter, then 17, was reckless and caused Roy’s death by telling him to get back in the car, even though they say he didn’t want to die.
If you are thinking about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Suicide Crisis Line at 1-800-784-2433.