Michelle Carter jailed for 15 months for urging Conrad Roy III to kill himself

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Michelle Carter jailed for 15 months for urging Conrad Roy III to kill himself

A woman who sent a barrage of messages to her boyfriend urging to kill himself has been jailed for 15 months.

Michelle Carter, 22, pushed Conrad Roy III to end his life and became more insistent when he hesitated.

On the day he died she told him ‘You keep pushing it off and say you’ll do it but u never do. It’s always gonna be that way if u don’t take action.

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Michelle Carter, 22, second left, appears in Taunton District Court in Taunton, Mass. Monday, February 11, 2019 for a hearing on her prison sentence as lawyer Joe Cataldo speaks at the podium. Carter was convicted in 2017 of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to a 15-month prison term for encouraging 18-year-old Conrad Roy, III to kill himself when she instructed him over the phone to get back in his truck that was filling with toxic gas in July 2014. Her sentence was put on hold while the court reviewed the case and the defense argument that her actions were not criminal. Carter's conviction was upheld. (Mark Stockwell/The Sun Chronicle via AP, Pool)

Michelle Carter appeared emotionless as she was jailed (Picture: AP)

‘I thought you wanted to do this. The time is right and you’re ready – just do it babe,’ she wrote.

‘You’re finally going to be happy in heaven. No more pain. It’s okay to be scared and it’s normal. I mean, you’re about to die,’ Carter wrote in another.

Michelle Carter was sentenced to 15 months in jail in 2017 for her role in the death of Conrad Roy III, but the judge allowed her to remain free while she appealed in state court.

Massachusetts’ highest court upheld her conviction last week, saying her actions caused Roy’s death.

A lawyer for Carter had argued she should stay out of jail while her defence team takes her case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Her attorneys said in court documents that she has no prior criminal record, hasn’t tried to flee, and has been receiving mental health treatment.

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Conrad took his own life after being encouraged by his girlfriend (Picture: Facebook)

But a judge ruled yesterday that she should start her sentence. Earlier in the day, Massachusetts’ highest court denied an emergency motion filed by her lawyers to keep her out of jail.

Carter showed no emotion as she was taken into custody, though her shoulders sagged as she stood and prepared to be led away.

Conrad’s aunt Becky Maki expressed relief, saying his family believes justice had been served even though the case had been a long and difficult ordeal for them.

She said: ‘We hope that no one else ever has to feel this pain. His life mattered.’

However, Carter’s laywer Joe Cataldo said: ‘Make no mistake, this legal fight is not over.’

Carter was 17 when Roy, 18, took his own life in Fairhaven, a town on Massachusetts’ south coast in July 2014.

Michelle Carter, 22, center, is led away by court officers after a hearing on her prison sentence in Taunton District Court in Taunton, Mass. Monday, February 11, 2019. Carter was jailed Monday on an involuntary manslaughter conviction. She was convicted in 2017 of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to a 15 month prison term for encouraging 18-year-old Conrad Roy, III to kill himself when she instructed him over the phone to get back in his truck that was filling with toxic gas in July 2014. (Mark Stockwell/The Sun Chronicle via AP, Pool)

She was led to the cells to start serving a 15-month prison sentence imposed in 2017 (Picture: AP)

Carter and Conrad both struggled with depression, and Roy had previously tried to kill himself. Their relationship consisted mostly of texting and other electronic communications.

During his suicide Conrad backed out before Carter told him to keep trying. The judge said Carter had a duty to call the police or Roy’s family, but instead listened on the phone as he died.

Judge Scott Kafker said: ‘After she convinced him to get back into the carbon monoxide filled truck, she did absolutely nothing to help him. She did not call for help or tell him to get out of the truck as she listened to him choke and die.

At trial, Carter’s lawyer argued Carter had initially tried to talk Roy out of suicide and encouraged him to get help. Her attorney said Roy was determined to kill himself and nothing Carter did could change that.

Her lawyers said there was no evidence that Roy would have lived if Carter had called for help. They also argued there wasn’t enough evidence to prove that Carter told Roy to get back in his truck.

Her phone call with Roy wasn’t recorded, but prosecutors pointed to a rambling text that Carter sent to a friend two months later in which she said called Roy’s death her fault and said she told Roy to ‘get back in’ the truck.

Daniel Marx, who argued the case before the Supreme Judicial Court, said last week that the court’s ruling ‘stretches the law to assign blame for a tragedy that was not a crime.’

He added: ‘It has very troubling implications, for free speech, due process, and the exercise of prosecutorial discretion, that should concern us all.’

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