Girlfriend Accused of Urging Teen to Kill Himself Found Guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter
Text messages showed Michelle Carter, then 17, urging Conrad Roy to take his life in 2014.
The woman accused of urging her boyfriend to take his own life in a series of text messages has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.
Michelle Carter, 20, broke down in tears as a Massachusetts judge convicted her Friday.
Carter was not taken into custody, remaining out on bail until her sentencing at a later date. She is prohibited from using social media or text during that time.
Her then-boyfriend, 18-year-old Conrad Roy, died from carbon monoxide poisoning in July 2014 after locking himself in his pickup truck in the parking lot of a Massachusetts' Kmart.
After his death, it emerged that Carter, then 17, had texted him, asking when he was going to take his life, prosecutors said in court.
The night of his death, she encouraged him to get back inside the truck when he apparently had second thoughts.
“You're ready and prepared. All you have to do is turn the generator on and you will be free and happy,” she texted him. “No more pushing it off. No more waiting."
She later admitted in messages to other friends that she took no action to stop him, despite knowing where the truck was.
Four of Carter's girlfriends took the stand at her trial, reading chilling text messages she sent them after Roy took his life.
“His death is my fault, like, honestly," one of the messages read. "I could have stopped him, I was on the phone and he got out of the car because it was working and he got scared and I f***ing told him to get back in."
The prosecution painted Carter as an attention-seeker who pushed her boyfriend over the edge so that she could be seen as a grieving girlfriend. She even hosted a baseball game fundraiser called "Homers for Conrad" and smiled wide while posing for photos.
But during the trial, Carter maintained her innocence, with her lawyers arguing that Roy was "on this path to take his own life for years."
They showed video in court in which he discussed his depression.
“The hardest thing for me is to be comfortable in my own skin," he said in the video. "A lot of people tell me I have a lot going for me. I have to be happy. I have to be happy."
Carter was charged as a youthful offender, meaning that although she was a minor at the time of the incident, she was charged as an adult.
After the verdict, Roy's father, Conrad Roy, Jr., addressed reporters and thanked authorities and the judge.
"This has been a very tough time for our family," he said. "We'd like to just process this verdict, which we're happy with."
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