TAUNTON, Mass. (AP and CNN) – A Massachusetts woman who encouraged her boyfriend to kill himself in dozens of text messages and told him to “get back in” a truck filled with toxic gas faces up to 20 years in prison when a judge sentences her on a charge of involuntary manslaughter.
Michelle Carter was convicted by a judge who said her final instruction to Conrad Roy III caused his death. Carter will be sentenced Thursday.
Carter was 17 when the 18-year-old Roy was found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning in 2014.
The judge said during Carter’s conviction that she admitted in texts that she did nothing “She did not call the police or Mr. Roy’s family” after hearing his last breaths during a phone call, the judge said.
Carter’s lawyer argued that Roy was determined to kill himself and nothing Carter did could change that.
Prosecutors have argued that while Carter played the role of a loving and distraught girlfriend, she had secretly nudged Roy toward suicide by sending him numerous text messages encouraging him to take his own life.
Roy’s aunt has asked the judge to sentence Carter to the 20-year maximum. Carter’s father said his daughter made “a tragic mistake.” He’s asking for probation and continued counseling.
Carter’s attorney’s argued that the teen was on anti-depressants for a previous diagnosis of anorexia and those drugs impaired her judgment, saying that she thought she was helping Roy because she said he wanted to stop suffering and go to heaven.
Carter could face 20 years in prison, but legal experts have said that is not likely.
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