In 2014, 17-year-old Michelle Carter encouraged her 18-year-old boyfriend, Conrad Roy III, to commit suicide. Before his death, Roy struggled with depression, which Carter was aware of. Through text messages, Carter urged her boyfriend to “go through with it” multiple times, even though Roy had doubts about killing himself and looked to Carter for support.
Carter’s messages ultimately led to him taking his own life. Roy passed away in July of 2014 from carbon monoxide poisoning in his pick-up truck. CNN listed all of the text messages between the two teens, you can read them here.
After days in the courtroom, Judge Lawrence Moniz, finally reached a verdict on Friday, June 16th. He stated, “This court having reviewed the evidence...now finds you guilty on the indictment charging you with the involuntary manslaughter of the person Conrad Roy III.”
Since Carter was only 17-years-old at the time of the incident, she reportedly will not be convicted as an adult. Her sentence is scheduled to take place on August 3rd of 2017, where she faces up to 20 years in prison. Until her sentencing, she is free on bail. Roy’s family is pleased with the verdict. However, the Carter family is disappointed and an appeal is a possibility in the future, reports the New York Times.
This unique suicide case raises many questions in the legal system, especially with the issue of ‘cyberbullying’. One professor stated, “This sends a strong message to people that using technology to bully people into committing suicide will not be tolerated.” Various reports mentioned that this case could potentially lead to a new or adjusted law, where encouraging a suicide is illegal.
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Please pray for Conrad Roy’s friends and family as they continue to cope with his tragic death. Thank you!