Michelle Carter, who was convicted for involuntary manslaughter was all started when Conrad Henri Roy III, an American died at the age of 18 by suicide with encouragement from 17-year-old Michelle Carter, who at that time was his long-distance girlfriend. She encouraged him to suicide through text messages. The case was then the subject of a well-known investigation as well as involuntary manslaughter trial in Massachusetts, which is most popularly known as the “texting suicide case”.
The case then raised the issues of mental health as well as teenage relationships in the digital age and then turns out to be national news. At the present, they’re the subject of a new two-part documentary, named I Love You, Now Die, which airs at HBO on Tuesday and Wednesday.
This documentary has been directed by Erin Lee Carr, the one who has also directed HBO documentary Mommy Dead and Dearest and At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal, the film provides an in-depth aspect at Carter’s manslaughter trial.
Here is Everything You Need to Know About the Case:
Michelle Carter and Conrad Henri Roy III Story
The two teenagers, Carter, and Roy both were from small towns in Massachusetts and have met while visiting relatives in Florida in the year 2012. However, they had met only five times face to face but they still maintained their relationship through an intense long-distance relationship which was mainly carried out through text message.
Both teenagers had histories of mental health struggles and had been also prescribed antidepressants. Carter had battled with an eating disorder, while Roy, on the other hand, had tried to end his life previous to his final successful attempt.
They both shared a toxic, mainly digital romance, where Carter at first insisted Roy to seek treatment for his depression and anxiety. Some of the texts from Carter to Roy in June 2014 clarify this detail like she texted, “The mental hospital would help you,” and “I know you don’t think it would but I’m telling you, if you give them a chance, they can save your life.”
But as the days passed, Carter just a few weeks later started sending Roy very different messages. Such as her text on July 8, “I’ll stay up with you if you want to [commit suicide] tonight,”
When Roy replied that “another day wouldn’t hurt,” Carter bullied him by replying, “You can’t keep pushing it off, tho, that’s all you keep doing.” Few hours before Roy died, Carter constantly urged Roy to take his life, even as he started to express his doubts regarding doing this.
For the duration of Roy’s final moments, they both were on the phone together. Carter would afterward tell a friend that at one point he had also left his carbon-monoxide filled car but then she had told him to get back inside the car. This was what juvenile court Judge Lawrence Moniz found conclusive for the duration of Carter’s bench trial—the judge ruled that however, Roy may have tried to take his life even deprived of Carter’s influence, but he would have left his truck and stop the attempt to kill himself if Carter (as per her text to friends) had not encouraged him to do so.
Michelle Carter Trial
However, Judge Moniz sentenced Carter to 15 months in prison, he also permitted her sentence to be suspended up till her state-level pleas were exhausted.
This year, in the month of February, the Massachusetts Supreme Court declared its verdict in Carter’s appeal. Some of the major points that Carter’s lawyers argued was that her opinion violated her First Amendment-protected right to free speech. But the higher court, on the other hand, had found that the definition of involuntary manslaughter—“reckless or wanton conduct causing the death of another”—doesn’t eliminate Carter’s texts. The court noted, “The defendant cannot escape liability just because she happened to use “words to carry out [her] illegal [act],”.
It further added, “Although numerous crimes can be committed verbally, they are “intuitively and correctly” understood not to raise First Amendment concerns.”
“The evidence against the defendant proved that, by her wanton or reckless conduct,” the justices ruled, “she caused the victim’s death by suicide.” Once the ruling was handed down, Carter was ordered to again start her prison sentence.
However Roy died when Carter was 17 and at the time when the case was arbitrated in juvenile court, she was 22 and was ordered to prison. Carter is now serving her sentence at the Bristol County House of Correction adult facility.
Though, her legal team is still pursuing the appeals. They recently on Monday, filed to appeal her conviction with the US Supreme Court.