How Michelle Carter urging her boyfriend to kill himself over hundreds of texts led to an involuntary manslaughter verdict

Michelle Carter

Glenn C. Silva (Associated Press)

Michelle Carter cries while flanked by defense attorneys Joseph Cataldo, left, and Cory Madera, after being found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the suicide of Conrad Roy III, Friday, June 16, 2017.

On Friday, a judge found that 20-year-old Michelle Carter was guilty of involuntary manslaughter after sending texts that encouraged Conrad Roy III to kill himself when both were 17.

The teens had met while on family vacation in Florida back in 2014 and, in the following months, started sharing stories of profound emotional instability over Facebook messenger and text.

Follow the deeply disturbing relationship that led to one young man’s suicide and another young woman’s guilty sentence.

On June 16, a Massachusetts judge found that Carter was guilty of involuntary manslaughter for sending texts that encouraged a young man that she had called her boyfriend to kill himself.

Source: Business Insider

In the summer of 2014, Roy started sending Carter texts in which he shared thoughts about killing himself. While Carter first listened to Roy and offered support, she later started sending messages that said Roy’s family would “get over it.”

Source: Business Insider

“Everyone will be sad for a while but they will get over it and move on,” Carter texted when Roy expressed worries about what his suicide would do to his family.

Source: Business Insider

One could “hang yourself, jump off a building, stab yourself idk there’s a lot of ways,” Carter once texted Roy.

Source: Business Insider

On July 12, 2014, Roy drove to a supermarket parking lot and hooked up a water pump that emitted carbon monoxide into the cab of his truck. Before the gas took effect, Roy exited the vehicle and Carter told him to “get back in.”

Source: Business Insider

The police found Roy dead inside his truck the next day. In the weeks after Roy’s death, Carter organized a fundraising tournament in Roy’s honor and started calling herself a suicide prevention advocate trying to “save as many other lives as possible.”

Source: Business Insider

During the summer she was texting Roy, Carter struggled with body image and took medicine for depression and anxiety. “She was enmeshed in a delusional system,” psychiatrist Peter R. Breggin told The New York Times.

Source: The New York Times

In the coming months, the police started investigating Roy’s strange death and Carter was charged with involuntary manslaughter in March 2015.

Source: Business Insider

Prosecutors said Carter wanted to play the role of the “grieving girlfriend” and receive the public’s sympathy.

Source: The New York Times

On June 16, a Massachusetts judge ruled that Carter’s texts contributed to Roy’s death. She now faces up to 20 years of prison time.

Source: Business Insider

“Knowing that Mr. Roy is in the truck, knowing the condition of the truck, knowing or at least having a state of mind that 15 minutes would pass, Ms. Carter takes no action,” Judge Lawrence Moniz said to the court.

Source: Business Insider

The ruling surprised many legal experts, who felt that Carter’s distance from Roy at the time of death would help bring forth a not-guilty ruling. This decision is widely expected to establish precedent in future cases of people telling others to kill themselves.