A Massachusetts teen is facing manslaughter charges in the death of her friend, who took his own life. A grand jury indicted Michelle Carter early this month after evidence suggests she encouraged her friend, Conrad Roy III, to commit suicide. The prosecutor says that despite having knowledge the teenager had mixed thoughts of killing himself, Carter pressured him into carrying out the fatal act, NECN wrote in a February 26 report.
Criminal court documents in the case show that Carter was formally charged on February 5 in New Bedford as a juvenile offender. She later posted bail and will face trial on a future date. Information in the documents say the young woman, who hails from Plainville, is being held accountable for the death of Roy III, a Fairhaven student. Due to the gravity of the boy’s death, several sources are now carrying coverage on the new developments.
History of the incident shows that Conrad Roy III was found dead in the rear of a Kmart department store on July 13 of last year. The cause of death was suicide by carbon monoxide. However, upon further investigation, police found “thousands of text messages” the teen exchanged with Michelle Carter in the days before he ended his life. Gregg Miliote, a spokesperson for Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III, say the girl acted in such a capacity that her encouragement pushed Roy III over the edge.
“Based on the totality of the investigation, it is alleged that Ms. Carter had first-hand knowledge of Roy’s suicidal thoughts. Instead of attempting to assist him or notify his family or school officials, Ms. Carter is alleged to have strongly influenced his decision to take his own life, encouraged him to commit suicide and guided him in his engagement of activities which led to his death.”
Police joined Miliote in accusing Carter in having a role in the Roy III’s suicide. Apparently, when the boy demonstrated his fear of leaving his family, the girl encouraged him to stay the course, according to prosecutor’s documents.
“When he actually started to carry out the act, he got scared again and exited his truck. But instead of telling him to stay out of the truck and turn off the generator Carter told him to ‘get back in.'”
Nevertheless, Michelle’s attorney, Joseph P. Cataldo, says the grand jury and prosecutor got it all wrong, that his client is not responsible for the suicide of another person. Cataldo is confident that the case will be dismissed when the judge realizes that the boy’s plan to die was hatched own his own.
“This is terrible tragedy — a young man taking his own life. The district attorney’s office is trying to pin the blame on someone. I can’t understand why they brought the charge.They’re trying to claim there is manslaughter when they freely admit the boy took his own life. You can’t have it both ways.”
Ironically, after Conrad Roy III’s death, Michelle Carter set up a fundraiser in his name to bring awareness to mental health issues, depression, and suicide. Reportedly, she managed to raise several thousand dollars. However, a judge has barred her from internet access unless it’s related to school or the contact of family members.
Did the court err or got it right about the girl’s role in the boy’s death? Stay tuned for more developments in this case.