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Judge finds Michelle Carter guilty of manslaughter in texting suicide case

Michelle Carter

A Massachusetts judge found Michelle Carter, 20, guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the 2014 death of her boyfriend, who poisoned himself by inhaling carbon monoxide in his pickup truck. Prosecutors had argued she sent Conrad Roy III, 18, numerous text messages urging him to commit suicide.

“She called no one, and finally she did not issue a simple additional instruction: Get out of the truck,” Bristol County Juvenile Court Judge Lawrence Moniz said as Carter stood to receive the ruling.

“This court has found that Carter’s actions and failure to act where it was her self-created duty to Roy since she put him in that toxic environment constituted reckless conduct,” the judge said. “The court finds that the conduct caused the death of Mr. Roy.”

The defendant, who was tried as a juvenile because of her age at the time of the crime, cried silently as Moniz spent about 15 minutes explaining the rationale for his decision before announcing the ruling. Roy’s relatives, who sat near her in the first row, wept as Moniz ticked through the steps Roy took to end his life, as well as Carter’s complicity.

Moniz allowed Carter to remain free on bail until her sentencing on August 3. She was ordered to have no contact with members of the Roy family. She cannot apply for or obtain a passport, nor can she leave Massachusetts without permission from a judge.