Crime

Teen Faces Manslaughter Charge For Boyfriend's Suicide

| by Zara Zhi
Michelle Carter in courtMichelle Carter in court

A Massachusetts teen charged for provoking her boyfriend to commit suicide may go on trial for manslaughter.

Michelle Carter allegedly used her smartphone to persuade her 18-year-old boyfriend take his own life.

In July 2014, Conrad Roy died of carbon monoxide poisoning in a Kmart parking lot after locking himself inside his truck.

Prosecutors contend that Carter, now 18, drove Roy to kill himself by encouraging him to do so in dozens of text messages.

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While sitting in his truck prior to his death, Roy was on the phone with Carter for 47 minutes, according to prosecutors. 

“The car was filling up, and he was scared,” prosecutor MaryClare Flynn said, according to the Daily Mail. “She told him to get back in the car.” 

Just days before the suicide, Carter reportedly sent the following text messages to Roy: “Don't be scared. You're finally to be happy in Heaven,” and, “When are you going to do it? Stop ignoring the question???? You can't keep push[ing] it off.”

“It's inconceivable,” Roy's great aunt, Claudette Roy-Viaol, told members of the media outside the courtroom in August 2015, according to ABC News. “I just don't understand how someone could do that, to encourage someone they claimed to love.”

Carter’s defense team is trying for a second time to have the involuntary manslaughter charge dropped. 

In statement to ABC News, the defense alleged, “Michelle's communications were by no means threatening," and Roy "made his own conscious decision to take his own life,” adding, "This is a tragedy, not a crime."

Authorities and prosecutors say the couple swapped over 1,000 text messages in the days leading up to Roy's suicide on July 13, 2014. 

Police found the text messages after looking through Roy’s phone after his body was found in the truck.

Carter messaged one of her friends almost week later, reportedly voicing her concern that the texts to Roy had been found.

“I just got off the phone with Conrads mom about 20 mins ago and she told me that detectives had to come and go thru his things and stuff,” she wrote, according to the Daily Mail. “They read my messages with him I'm done... His family will hate me and I could go to jail.”

Although Carter, who met Roy while on a vacation to Florida several years prior, allegedly called herself his girlfriend, his friends and family were unaware of the relationship.

Carter repeatedly posted online about how much she missed Roy after his death.

“I will never understand why this had to happen,” she tweeted.

Her final message was written just two days before her indictment in 2015: “Enjoy the parade from up there tomorrow Conrad, I know you would of loved to be there. Really missing you tonight.”

As part of her bail, Carter is banned from using the Internet or social media and cannot text anyone except for her parents. 

The high school senior faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. 

Sources: ABC News, Daily Mail / Photo credit: ABC News