20-year-old Michelle Carter, who was 17-years-old at the time of this tragic incident, encouraged her 18-year-old boyfriend, Conrad Roy III, to commit suicide a few years ago. Before his death, Roy struggled with depression, which Carter was aware of.
Through texts, Carter urged her boyfriend to “go through with it” multiple times, even though Roy had doubts about taking his own life and looked to Carter for emotional support. Her messages ultimately led to the teen’s death in July of 2014, where he died of carbon monoxide poisoning in his truck.
On June 16th of this year Carter was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter during a jury trial. Her sentence will take place on Thursday, August 3rd, where she faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Former prosecutor Wendy Murphy appeared in an interview with HLN TV to provide her insight on what the judge will most likely sentence to Carter. The television host asked, “What kind of sentence do you think this judge is going to hand down?”
Murphy began, “There is some sympathy for Michelle Carter, but not a lot, not in Massachusetts anyway. If there’s any sympathy it’s simply because she was young at the time; she was 17, she is now 20, but she was really close to 18 when this happened.”
Because she’s being prosecuted in juvenile court, Murphy mentioned, “There is a thumb on the scale toward compassion, toward rehabilitation,” but she also could face adult punishment. Murphy continued, “The judge really has three choices: punish her as an adult, punish her as a juvenile, or punish her in one of these hybrid sentences. A hybrid sentence is basically you get punished as a juvenile for now and we see how it goes.” Depending on if it goes well or not, there are different options including probation or eventually moving into adult court.
Given that information, here’s what Murphy thinks her sentence will be: “I think the judge is going to punish her with incarceration in a juvenile detention facility until she turns 21 and then he’ll give her a long period of probation.” Because this unique case raises many questions in the legal system, especially with the issue of cyberbullying, her probation conditions may contain “unusual conditions” such as learning about the dangers of social media.
Watch Wendy Murphy’s full response in the interview below. Please continue to pray for the families affected by this tragic case.
Even though Murphy believes she will ultimately end up with probation, many of Roy Conrad’s family members wrote letters to the judge encouraging a much harsher sentence. What are your thoughts on Michelle Carter’s sentencing? Share your thoughts in our Facebook comments! Thank you!