Michelle Carter was sentenced to two and a half years in prison but the judge ruled that she would not have to begin her sentence because of an impending appeal on Thursday, after she was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for encouraging her boyfriend to commit suicide. Her lawyer immediately asked the judge to suspend the sentencing and they are still deliberating.
Conrad Roy III killed himself in his pickup truck in a Kmart parking lot on July 12, 2014 after he and Carter exchanged thousands of text messages where she pushed him to take his own life.
Judge Lawrence Moniz told a stoic Carter he was sentencing her to “two and a half years,” in prison and but she would only serve 15 months with the balance suspended and on probation until August 1, 2022.
In a shocking turn of events, her lawyer requested that she be released because of the appeals process, saying that she would have been out of prison in the time that the appeal would have taken place. The judge agreed with him and allowed her to have a “stay,” meaning that she was not being sent to prison immediately, as the appeal was allowed to go forward.
She was ordered to have no contact with the Roy family and was told she prohibited from profiting from the “criminal act from which you stand convicted.”
Prior to the judge’s sentencing, Roy’s family members gave statements about his death.
Conrad Roy’s sister, Camden Roy, took the stand to give an impact statement and cried as she recalled her brother.
“Not having that one person that I’ve been with every day since birth is a pain I will keep with me the rest of my life. He gave me an amazing 13 years being my best friend.”
Camden was crying as she said “Not a day goes by without him being my first thought waking up and my last thought going to bed. It’s crazy to think whenever I need him he was always there for me but now whenever I need him he will never be there for me. I will never get over this pain that I feel every day but I know that he loved me more than any big brother ever would.”
Conrad’s father, Conrad Roy, Jr., addressed the court. “I cannot begin to describe the loss I feel of my son. He was sensitive, loving, compassionate. Although he did have some psychological troubles, we all felt he was heading in the right direction and was over the worst of it. He had such a bright future.”
He slammed his son’s girlfriend, saying: “Michelle Carter exploited my son’s weaknesses and used him as a pawn in her own wellbeing. She has not shown any remorse. How could Michelle Carter behave so viciously and encourage my son to end his life. Where was her humanity? In what world is this behavior acceptable?”
The father told the court, “I miss him. The last words I said to my son was, ‘I love you,’ and Coco said, ‘I love you too.’ I miss him every minute of every day.”
The prosecutor read a letter from Conrad’s mother, Lynn Roy. “I still cannot come to terms that another person who knew and described how much they loved another person would want to inflict so much pain,” she said about Carter. “There is not one day that I do not mourn the loss of my beloved son. I am trying to be there for his sisters. “I am very blessed to have spent 18 years and 10 months with him. Every day I will continue to honor him. My life will never be the same.”
The prosecutor told the judge they were requesting “a sentence of not less than seven and no more than 12 years in state prison. The facts in this case are egregious. She undertook a deliberate well thought out campaign to cause the death of Conrad Henry Roy. For her own personal gain and quest for attention. What a travesty. The reason he is not here is the defendant. Her actions killed Conrad Roy. She ended his life to better her own. She has been convicted of a very serious crime.”
Carter was sobbing as the prosecutor told the judge “She has shown no remorse. After this death, she sought attention and sympathy for herself.”
The prosecutor told the court: “All she had to say was ‘Get out of the car, get out of the truck.’”
As Carter continued to cry, her attorney told the judge they were “requesting a period of five years of supervised probation of various conditions. Mental health counseling. No contact with the Roys.
“This court is well aware of the idea in the juvenile justice system is not punitive but rehabilitative. She was 17 years old at the time. She is not a danger to the public.”
Her attorney explained her remorse. “Miss Carter does regret what happened. She sent a letter to the probation department where she accepts responsibility for her actions. I suggest that she is not a danger to the public.”
The National Suicide Prevention Hotline number is 1-800-273-8255.
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