Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

Teenage Girl Who Encouraged Boyfriend to Kill Himself – Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter

A teenager from Plainville, Massachusetts is being charged with involuntary manslaughter following the disturbing discovery of text messages she exchanged with her boyfriend before his suicide in July of 2014. Michelle Carter allegedly encouraged her boyfriend, Conrad Roy III, to commit suicide despite his fears and concerns about following through with the action. Carter’s attorney, Joseph P. Cataldo, maintains that she was merely exercising her right to free speech—and that Conrad Roy’s plans to commit suicide allowed to her to become brainwashed by the idea as well.

Conrad Roy III committed suicide on July 12, 2014 in the parking lot of a Kmart store in Fairhaven. His body was discovered by police the next day. A few days prior to his death, Roy purchased a generator at a nearby Sears at the encouragement of Michelle Carter, to aid him in his attempt to die via carbon monoxide poisoning. He affixed a gas-powered water pump to the inside of his pickup truck and waited for the carbon monoxide to take effect. According to reports and phone records, Roy stepped out of the car at one point when he felt as though the poison was taking over and became nervous. It was at this point that Michelle Carter told Conrad Roy to “get back in” to the vehicle and he obliged. A short time later, Roy was dead.

Following the discovery of Roy’s body inside the pickup truck, Michelle Carter exchanged text messages with a friend named Samantha in which she stated “Like, honestly I could have stopped it,” and went on to say that she had been on the phone with Conrad when he stepped out of the cab to question his decision. But despite knowing that she could have dissuaded him from following through with this choice—Carter encouraged him onward anyway; an action that was seemingly commonplace for her in the months prior to Conrad’s death.

Reports have indicated that not only did Michelle Carter encourage Conrad Roy to commit suicide, but she also helped him research ways he could perform the act painlessly. Whenever Roy expressed concerns, or fears, Carter always had an answer. “You’re finally going to be happy in heaven. No more pain,” she told him after one exchange where he expressed his worries about if suicide would hurt, and how it would affect his family. Conrad had been suffering from depression for several years according to members of his family. His grandmother, Janice Roy, said she felt as though he had recently been pulling out of his depression and was making progress toward recovery.

During the moments of reflection, Conrad Roy would speak to Michelle Carter about being worried about his decision. He was suffering from depression and had attempted suicide before. Roy and Carter had been in a relationship, primarily online-based, since 2012. He felt as though she was the person he could turn to in his time of need. And instead of encouraging him to choose life, to seek help, to stand by his side—Michelle Carter simply told Conrad Roy III, “There isn’t anything anyone can do to save you, not even yourself.” When the two had conversations that were lighthearted, she would also swerve the conversation toward talks of suicide. During an exchange found in phone records, Conrad texted Michelle one day to ask how her day had been. She asked him, repeatedly, when he was going to go through with killing himself. She told him that he talked about it frequently but never took actions toward following through with the ideas he spoke of. She was insistent upon Roy carrying out the act sooner rather than later and researched ideas on how to help him accomplish the task. She told him that he could be her guardian angel and that she would comfort his family members after his death. Instead, she lied to his family and withheld information while police officers were searching for Roy. To add to the mirage, she engaged in an online community to support those who lost loved ones to suicide. She said that she wanted to help save others since she was unable to save her boyfriend. What no one knew at the time was that she could have saved her boyfriend—she just chose not to.

 

Since Michelle Carter was 17 at the time that Conrad Roy III took his life, she is being arraigned in Massachusetts juvenile court for the involuntary manslaughter charges. She has already appeared in court, and she is slated to have another hearing on October 2nd of this year. At this time, a judge will determine if she will face the charges for Conrad’s death and what sentence she should serve if she is found guilty.

 

Additional information, quotes, and text message exchanges may be found at the following links: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/%E2%80%98it%E2%80%99s-now-or-never-texts-reveal-teen%E2%80%99s-efforts-to-pressure-boyfriend-into-suicide/ar-AAdOwEu?ocid=ansmsnnews11

http://www.southcoasttoday.com/article/20150824/NEWS/150829729/-1/breaking_ajax

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