A high school senior is facing charges of involuntary manslaughter after allegedly encouraging her boyfriend to kill himself. Michelle Carter communicated with Conrad Roy III as he struggled with committing suicide after suffering serious depression. According to law enforcement, Carter not only texted him during the act but pressured him to go through with it.
It was not until police searched through the deceased teen’s cellphone that things took a dramatic turn for Carter. Investigators reviewed over 1,000 messages between the two teens. There were numerous texts from Carter to indicate that she and Roy communicated until minutes before he ended his life.
In the months following the teen’s death, Carter helped raise thousands of dollars for suicide prevention in Roy’s name, mourned publicly and even took to social media to write:
Such a beautiful soul gone too soon. I will never understand why this had to happen.
The texts revealed a different side of the teen. In one of the messages, her boyfriend expressed hesitation and fear, but she encouraged him, by stating, “Go ahead and do it!” Roy said in a text that he did not want to hurt his family and eventually got out of the truck where he intended to die. Carter texted back telling Roy to “get back in.” The following day after this series of unnerving texts, Roy was found in his truck dead of carbon monoxide poisoning. District Attorney Tom Quinn’s spokesman Gregg Miliote said in a statement:
Instead of attempting to assist him or notify his family or school officials, Ms. Carter is alleged to have strongly influenced his decision to take his own life, encouraged him to commit suicide and guided him in his engagement of activities which led to his death.
Carter’s parents are angered by the way “the media is portraying” the teen and described her as a quiet, caring and empathetic honor student who is not the villain people think she is. In a statement, they offered condolences to the Roy family and said their hearts ache for them, but their daughter tried immensely to help Roy and his battle with depression. Many people are not buying the alibi and have sounded off via social media concerning the way the teen handled the situation. One person said:
I am not sure what would make a person encourage suicide, she manipulated a depressed guy…he needed help, not a push over the edge. She killed him through manipulation so she deserves a hearty punishment/sentence. And I have noticed people have been posted that he is an idiot, which he is not…he was suicidal which was a sign he was depressed or had another underlying mental illness, way to blame the victim.
Another person said Carter showed no remorse until she got caught and was threatened with jail time. To pressure someone into killing themselves just to receive attention as a “grieving girlfriend” is ridiculous. The proper charge is a homicide, she should be tried for murder. The woman added:
Maybe if she acted like she really cared I would feel pity and drop charges down, but she looks totally apathetic to the whole situation.
Depression is a serious issue which carries a high risk of suicide. Whenever a person expresses suicidal thoughts or intentions they should be taken very seriously and the local suicide hotline should be contacted immediately. Instead, Carter chose to taunt the depressed teen while convincing him to take his own life. Despite the extremely public mourning over Roy’s death, authorities maintain that Carter is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Carter, who is out $2,500 bail, will be tried as an adult. She is prohibited from using social media while the charges are pending, but prior to her indictment she posted a number of Tweets and Facebook posts to substantiate her claims of heartbreak. Months after the teen’s death Carter used it as a catalyst for activism on suicide prevention. Roy’s friends told detectives that it was all a scheme to help garner attention while unknowingly raising suspicion.
The teen texted a message to another friend which authorities believe validates their claim. She said Roy’s death was her fault because she “honestly could have stopped him.” Carter admitted to being on the phone with him when he expressed fear and exited the truck and at her coercion got back in. In what was among Carter’s final words to her boyfriend she said:
You have everything needed to just do it. There is no way you could fail. This is the night, it is now or never. Everyone will be sad momentarily, but they will get over it and move on.
The high school senior is now facing jail time after playing a major role in Roy Conrad’s act of suicide. Although he suffered from depression, she allegedly encouraged him to kill himself, instead of seeking help for the troubled young man. Prosecutors anticipate more tragic and disturbing details will surface as the case continues. Michelle Carter’s next day in court will be Oct 2, 2015.
by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
Washington Post: ‘Get back in’: Teen charged with pressuring boyfriend to commit suicide
NY Daily News: Massachusetts teen charged with manslaughter after text messages reveal she urged friend to commit suicide: cops
WebMD: Depression Health Center
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