Michelle Carter: The teenager who persuaded her boyfriend to take his life
She is now in prison for involuntary manslaughter
There has been a true crime documentary released all about the Michelle Carter case. Michelle Carter’s story hit headlines as being unlike any other – it raised questions about whether someone can be held accountable for the suicide of someone else.
Michelle Carter was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in June 2017 after her boyfriend, Conrad Roy, took his own life. Police found texts from her that seemed to encourage him to take his own life, even when he said he was having doubts. The true crime documentary, called “I Love You, Now Die”, explores the real life events – looking at Michelle’s court case and featuring interviews from those closest to the story.
TW: Sensitive content and details of suicide.
What is the story of the Michelle Carter case?
Michelle Carter and Conrad Roy met in Florida in 2012. They only hung out in person a handful of times and lived about an hour away from one another. They met while visiting relatives at their families’ respective holiday homes. The couple began a relationship and texted each other regularly in the months leading up to Conrad’s death.
They bonded specifically over their mental health issues. Conrad told Michelle he suffered from depression and social anxiety and Michelle told Conrad she had body image and self-esteem issues.
Fast forward to July 12th 2014 and Roy died of carbon monoxide poisoning in his pickup truck. Police then found messages on his phone from his girlfriend, 17-year-old Michelle Carter, that seemed to encourage him to take his life.
Prosecutors alleged Carter engaged in a “sick game of life and death,” triggering the 18-year-old’s suicide. One of the messages she sent him read: “Stop thinking and just do it”. Other messages included: “Hang yourself, jump off a building, stab yourself”, “Just park your car and sit there and it will take, like, 20 minutes. It’s not a big deal” and “You just have to do it… I don’t get why you aren’t.”
As well as the messages, in a 45 minute phone call immediately before his death, Roy allegedly got out of the truck. Carter then texted a friend saying: “I fucken told him to get back in…His death is my fault.”
Michelle Carter’s text messages made up huge part of the evidence against her. She pleaded not guilty, but the prosecution claimed she should still be liable for involuntary manslaughter. They said the constant texts constituted “wanton or reckless conduct” resulting in an unlawful death.
The morning after Conrad’s death, Michelle Carter continued to text him. She said: “Did you do something??! Conrad I love you so much please tell me this is a joke.” She later texted him saying she loved him and there were nearly 80 messages sent from Michelle to Conrad after he had died.
Michelle Carter was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in 2017 and given two and half years in jail. She appealed her conviction so only began her sentence in February 2019 when she was 22.
Where is Michelle Carter now?
In September of this year, Michelle appeared again in court – asking for an early release from prison. This request was denied. She is currently serving a 15-month prison sentence for involuntary manslaughter. Michelle Carter is 22-years-old now.
Michelle is currently being held at Bristol County House of Correction adult facility in Massachusetts and is seven months into her prison sentence.
Speaking after the conviction, Conrad’s father, Conrad Roy Jr, said: “This has been a very tough time for our family and we’d like to process this verdict that we’re happy with.”