Michelle Carter Sent to Prison for Urging Her Boyfriend to Kill Himself: “Quit Putting It Off”

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 3, 2017   |   5:41PM   |   Washington, DC

Teenager Michelle Carter has been convicted and will be sentenced to prison for urging her boyfriend to kill himself.

On June 16th, a Massachusetts judge found Michelle Carter guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of her boyfriend, Conrad Roy. Because Carter wasn’t with Roy when he committed suicide, many legal analysts found the verdict surprising.

In 2014, Conrad Roy met Michelle Carter while on vacation. As New York magazine put it, theirs was a “thoroughly modern teenage romance: texting, telling each other their secrets, saying they loved each other, but only meeting in person, as far as his family knows, a couple of times.”

Roy had a history of psychiatrists call “suicidal ideations,” which were the subject of many of the text exchanges between him and Carter. But instead of urging her boyfriend to get help, Carter encouraged him to take his life, often asking him “when are you going to do it?”

And in the most damning exchange, Carter reproached Roy: “You keep pushing it off and you say you’ll do it, but you never do. You just have to do it.”

Finally, Roy did it by filling his truck with carbon monoxide, while on the phone with Carter. When he tried to get out of the truck, Carter, as she told a friend in a text, told him to get back in.

Now, Carter is headed to prison:

Juvenile Court judge Lawrence Moniz gave Carter a two-and-a-half-year jail sentence but said she had to serve only 15 months of that. He also sentenced her to five years of probation.

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He granted a defence motion that would keep Carter out of jail until her appeals in Massachusetts courts are exhausted.

The judge called the case, which has garnered international attention, “a tragedy for two families”.

Carter’s lawyer, Joseph Cataldo, had asked the judge to spare his client any jail time and instead give her five years of probation and require her to receive mental health counselling.

He said Carter was struggling with mental health issues of her own — bulimia, anorexia and depression — during the time she urged Roy to kill himself.

“Miss Carter will have to live with the consequences of this for the rest of her life,” Mr Cataldo said.

“This was a horrible circumstance that she completely regrets.”

Prosecutor Maryclare Flynn called probation “just not reasonable punishment” for her role in Roy’s death. Prosecutors asked the judge to send Carter to prison for seven to 12 years.

In dozens of text messages, Carter had urged Roy to follow through on his talk of taking his own life.

“The time is right and you are ready … just do it babe,” Carter wrote in a text the day he killed himself.