A Massachusetts woman who encouraged her boyfriend via texting to commit suicide is responsible for his death, Massachusetts’s highest court ruled Wednesday, upholding her prior conviction of involuntary manslaughter.
Michelle Carter, 22, was convicted in 2017 for causing the death of her boyfriend, Conrad Roy III, who took his own life by filling a truck with carbon monoxide in a deserted parking lot in July 2014. The juvenile court judge who convicted Carter said she caused Roy's death when she convinced him to get back in his truck after he climbed out of his truck as it was filling with carbon monoxide.
"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," Justice Scott Kafker wrote in Wednesday's unanimous decision to uphold her conviction.
Carter was originally sentenced to 15 months in jail but has remained free while pursuing her appeals. The Bristol County District Attorney's office said it will file a motion asking the trial court to impose Carter's jail sentence now that the state high court has ruled.
Carter’s lawyers said the Supreme Judicial Court’s decision, “stretches the law to assign blame for a tragedy that was not a crime. It has very troubling implications, for free speech, due process, and the exercise of prosecutorial discretion, that should concern us all.”
Carter's defense attorneys are now considering whether to appeal Wednesday’s ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, MassLive.com reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.