Michelle Carter sentenced to 2.5 years for texting suicide case
iStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) — Michelle Carter, who as a teenager sent texts urging her then-boyfriend to commit suicide, was sentenced today to 2.5 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter.
Conrad Roy III was 18 when he died in July 2014 of carbon monoxide poisoning after locking himself in his truck in Massachusetts.
Carter, now 20, who was Roy’s girlfriend at the time of his death, went on trial this year, and the prosecution argued that Carter, then 17, was reckless and caused his death by telling Roy to get back in the car even though they say he didn’t want to die. The defense claimed that Carter had previously tried to talk Roy out of harming himself, pointing to one conversation where Roy told Carter he regretted dragging her into his plans to kill himself.
The prosecution Thursday asked Judge Lawrence Moniz to sentence Carter to 7 to 12 years in prison.
“She ended his life to better her own,” the prosecution said, adding that Carter has not accepted responsibility for her actions.
The defense asked for five years of supervised probation with conditions including mental health treatment and no contact with the Roy family. Her defense attorney added that Carter regrets what happened and stressed that the sentence should be rehabilitative, not punitive.
Conrad Roy’s sister, Camden Roy, gave a statement in court Thursday ahead of the sentencing, calling her brother the best friend and role model “any little sister could ask for.”
Conrad Roy’s father, Conrad Roy Jr., said in court before sentencing, “I cannot being to describe the despair I feel over the loss of my son. … I am heartbroken, our family is heartbroken. My son was my best friend.”
He called his son sensitive, loving, compassionate and an excellent older brother who was “adored” by his sisters.
“How could Michelle Carter behave so viciously?” he said. “Where was her humanity?”
He said the last words he said to his son were “I love you.”
“I miss him every moment of every day,” Conrad Roy Jr. said.
Lynn Roy, Conrad Roy’s mother, said in court before sentencing, “I still cannot come to terms that another person who knew and described how much they loved my son would want to inflict so much pain” on Conrad Roy’s family. “He is the most amazing human being and would have had a bright future.
“This does not stop after a trial. I pray that his death will save lives some day,” she added.
In June, Moniz found Carter guilty of involuntary manslaughter, describing her behavior as “reckless.” Involuntary manslaughter is defined as an unintentional killing resulting from recklessness or criminal negligence.
While announcing the verdict, Moniz said that Carter instructed Conrad Roy “to get back into the truck well knowing of all of the feelings he [had] exchanged with her, his ambiguities, his fears, his concerns.”
“This court finds that instructing Mr. Roy to get back in the truck constituted wanton and reckless conduct,” Moniz said.
The judge also noted that Carter admitted in texts that she took no action; she knew the location of the truck and did not notify Conrad Roy’s mother or sisters.
Carter was charged as a youthful offender, which means that even though she was a minor at the time of the incident, she was charged as an adult. The maximum possible sentence is 20 years.
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