In a case that has left many in the US shocked, an 18-year-old US teen has been charged with manslaughter for allegedly encouraging her boyfriend to commit suicide. The incident, which took place in July last year, has been in the news for quite some time now.
Michelle Carter, who was 17 at the time of Roy’s death, has now been charged with involuntary manslaughter for sending 1000 text messages to Conrad Roy, 18, and encouraging him to take his own life.
The text messages, which lead up to the final moments of Roy’s life, were so disturbing that the indictment issued by a Bristol County Grand Jury alleged that Carter should be tried for involuntary manslaughter as they believe her messages assisted Roy to take his own life. The prosecution also believes that Carter not only encouraged Roy to take his own life, but also told him that he would be happier once he was dead. Carter had met Roy back in 2012 and formed an online relationship via several online messaging and SMS communications.
Earlier this year, the prosecutors had released several text conversations between Carter and Roy to the media.
CARTER: You can’t think about it. You just have to do it. You said you were gonna do it. Like I don’t get why you aren’t. ROY: I don’t get it either. I don’t know. CARTER: So I guess you aren’t gonna do it then. All that for nothing. I’m just confused. Like you were so ready and determined. ROY: I am gonna eventually. I really don’t know what I’m waiting for but I have everything lined up. CARTER: No, you’re not, Conrad. Last night was it. You kept pushing it off and you say you’ll do it, but you never do. It’s always gonna be that way if you don’t take action. You’re just making it harder on yourself by pushing it off. You just have to do it. Do you want to do it now? ROY: Is it too late? I don’t know. It’s already light outside. I’m gonna go back too sleep. Love you. I’ll text you tomorrow. CARTER: No. It’s probably the best time now because everyone is sleeping. Just go somewhere in your truck and no one is really out there right now because it’s an awkward time. If you don’t do it now you’re never gonna do it, and you can say you’ll do it tomorrow, but you probably won’t. Tonight? Love you.
The texts only got more intense from there with Carter even planning out locations and timing of the suicide along with Conrad.
CARTER: Are you gonna do it today? ROY: Yes. CARTER: Like in the day time? ROY: Should I? CARTER: Yeah, it’s less suspicious. You won’t think about it as much and you’ll get it over with instead of wait until the night. ROY: Yeah then I will. Like where? Like I could go in any enclosed area. CARTER: Go in your truck and drive in a parking lot somewhere, to a park or something. Do it like early. Do it now, like early. ROY: Didn’t we say this was suspicious? CARTER: No. I think night is more suspicious, a kid sitting in his car turning on the radio. Just do it. It wouldn’t be suspicious and it won’t take long.
Furthermore when Conrad started having second thoughts and was rethinking his decision, Carter, instead of taking this opportunity to get these thoughts out of his head, persuaded him to go ahead with it.
ROY: I do want to but I’m like freaking for my family I guess. I don’t know. CARTER: Conrad, I told you I’ll take care of them. Everyone will take care of them to make sure they won’t be alone and people will help them get through it. We talked about this and they will be okay and accept it. ROY: I know. I know. LOL. Thinking just drives me more crazy. CARTER: You just need to do it, Conrad, or I’m gonna get you help. You can’t keep doing this everyday. ROY: Okay. I’m gonna do it today. CARTER: You promise? ROY: I promise, babe. I have to now. CARTER: Like right now? ROY: Where do I go? CARTER: And you can’t break a promise. And just go in a quiet parking lot or something. ROY: Okay.
CARTER: Go somewhere you know you won’t get caught. You can find a place. I know you can. Are you doing it now?
While Roy couldn’t go through with it that morning, later that afternoon, the conversation between the two continued with Carter still encouraging Roy to go through the act:
ROY: I’m determined. CARTER: I’m happy to hear that. ROY: I’m ready. CARTER: Good because it’s time, babe. You know that. When you get back from the beach you’ve gotta go do it. You’re ready. You’re determined. It’s the best time to do it. ROY: Okay, I will. CARTER: Are you back? ROY: No more thinking. CARTER: Yes. No more thinking. You need to just do it. No more waiting. ROY: On way back. I know where to go now. CARTER: Where? ROY: A parking lot. There is going to be no cars there at 9:00. So that’s when I’ll be found.
What is more Carter knowing that she was wrong even persuaded Conrad to delete her messages after reading them so as not to get in trouble for her actions.
CARTER: Yes, you do. I believe in you. Did you delete the messages? ROY: Yes. But you’re going to keep messaging me. CARTER: I will.
This was the last text message that Roy sent On July 13, 2014 with the message time stamped at 6.25pm, he was found dead in his car later that night.
CARTER: So it’s time? ROY: Oh, it’s been time. CARTER: Are you gonna do it now? ROY: I just don’t know how to leave them, you know. (He was talking about his sisters.) CARTER: Say you’re gonna go the store or something. ROY: Like, I want them to know that I love them. CARTER: They know. That’s one thing they definitely know. You’re over thinking. ROY: I know I’m over thinking. I’ve been over thinking for a while now. CARTER: I know. You just have to do it like you said. Are you gonna do it now? ROY: I still haven’t left yet, ha ha. CARTER: Why? ROY: Leaving now. CARTER: Okay. You can do this. ROY: Okay. I’m almost there.
While, there was a huge outcry against Carter when the US media released the conversation, Carter’s defence claimed that she initially had tried to help Roy and had even asked him to join her in a psychiatric facility, which Roy had refused. They also claimed that it was Roy who “brainwashed” Carter into helping him. Roy had died due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Carter may face charges in Roy’s death when she appears in court again on October 2.