Michelle Carter of Massachusetts has been charged with involuntary manslaughter for continually encouraging her long-distance boyfriend Conrad Roy III to commit suicide last year.
According to MassLive.com
, Carter, then 17, discussed then-18-year-old Roy's possible suicide in hundreds of texts and phone calls.
"You're so hesitant because you keeping over thinking it and keep pushing it off. You just need to do it, Conrad. The more you push it off, the more it will eat at you. You're ready and prepared. All you have to do is turn the generator on and you will be free and happy. No more pushing it off. No more waiting," she texted him the day he poisoned himself with carbon monoxide while sitting in his truck at a Fairhaven Kmart.
Two years prior, Roy had attempted to kill himself with an overdose of the painkiller acetaminophen. He subsequently spent time in a psychiatric hospital.
Carter and Roy met while each was visiting relatives in Florida, and kept in touch upon returning to Massachusetts, where they lived roughly 50 miles apart. According to The Associated Press
, they hadn't seen each other for about a year before Roy took his life.
Prosecutors say that Carter "wantonly and recklessly" caused the death of her boyfriend. Joseph Cataldo, Carter's lawyer, said that her speech was protected by the First Amendment, and said it was ultimately Roy's decision. He added that it was possible Roy was so set on suicide that he "brainwashed" Carter into helping him.
"He got the generator, he devised the plan and he had to go find a spot. He parked, he had to get the gas for the generator, he had to turn the generator on, he had to sit in that car for a long period of time. He caused his own death," Cataldo said. "He had thought this out. He wanted to take his own life. It's sad, but it's not manslaughter."
Cataldo said that Carter initially protested against Roy's ideas of suicide, and even advised him to seek help on July 7, 2014 — six days before he died.
"Well it's too late I already gave up," Roy responded.
A week prior to that exchange, Roy suggested they commit suicide together, "like Romeo and Juliet." She declined.
On the day of his death, Carter told Roy, "You can't break a promise. And just go in a quiet parking lot or something . . . Go somewhere you know you won't get caught. You can find a place. I know you can. Are you doing it now?"
After Roy's suicide, Carter wrote to a friend.
"His death is my fault like honestly I could have stopped him I was on the phone with him and he got out of the car because it 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 the way he was living anymore I couldn't do it I wouldn't let him."
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