Michelle Carter, the teen accused of sending her 18-year-old boyfriend Conrad Roy III, text messages that encouraged him to commit suicide in 2014, can face an involuntary manslaughter charge, a juvenile court judge ruled on Sept. 23.
Roy was found dead in his pickup truck in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, on July 13, 2014, after he succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning, CBS Boston reported. Prosecutors claim Carter had pressured Roy for days to commit suicide and pushed him into taking his own life when he became hesitant.
“When are you doing it?” she asked repeatedly in text messages, The Washington Post reported. “You better not be bullsh***ing me and saying you gonna [sic] do this and then purposely get caught.”
Roy exited the vehicle after filling the truck’s cabin with exhaust and told Carter he didn’t want to abandon his family, but Carter reportedly told him, “Get back in.” Investigators claim Carter listened to Roy die. Before charges were levied against Carter, she became a suicide prevention spokesperson and organized a fundraiser in the wake of Roy's death.
However, defense attorneys claim Roy had actually pressured her into supporting his bid to end his life. Two months after Roy committed suicide, Carter texted a friend saying his death was her fault.
“Like, honestly I could have stopped it," she wrote in the text message, according to The Washington Post. "I was the one on the phone with him and he got out of the car because he was working and he got scared and I [expletive] told him to get back in… because I knew he would do it all over again the next day and I couldn’t have him live that way the way he was living anymore."
On Sept. 23, juvenile court judge Bettina Borders denied a motion to drop the involuntary manslaughter charge, meaning the case will go to trial in November. Carter could face up to 20 years in prison.
“Even if the defendant did not understand the consequences of her actions, a reasonable person would have realized that telling a person to get back into a truck filled with carbon monoxide would pose a grave risk of danger to that person,” the judge wrote, according to the Sun Chronicle.
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