31 Aug Texts reveal that a teen pressured her friend into committing suicide
After 18-year-old Conrad Roy III died of carbon monoxide poisoning in his car, prosecutors released text messages that allegedly show Roy’s friend, Michelle Carter, pressuring Roy to kill himself. She told him that his suicide would not cause emotional distress for his parents.
Carter, now 18, is being charged with involuntary manslaughter. The Bristol County District Attorney’s office released the text messages in a response to a motion filed by Carter’s lawyer to dismiss the charges. Carter now faces 20 years in prison. According to documents obtained by PEOPLE, Carter sent messages to Roy that read:
“You just have to do it. Tonight is the night. It’s painless and quick.”
After Roy expressed that he was hesitant about killing himself and unsure if he wanted to go through with it. Carter allegedly responded:
“You always say you’re gonna do it, but you never do. I just want to make sure tonight is the real thing.”
Carter allegedly wet on to assure Roy that his parents would be understanding about his suicide. She told him that they would be able to accept Roy’s decision given his negative mental state. She said via text:
“I think your parents know you’re in a really bad place. I’m not saying they want you to do it but I honestly feel like they can accept it.”
In the texts, Carter helped Roy come up with a suicide plan. They decided on carbon monoxide poisoning after Carter explained that it would be fast and painless. She sent a text that read:
“You lose consciousness with no pain. You just fall asleep and die.”
Despite encouraging him to kill himself, Carter allegedly called Roy “the love of my life, my boyfriend. You are my heart. I’d never leave you.” When Roy texted Carter that he was ready to go through with the suicide, she texted:
“Good because it’s time, babe. You know that. When you get back from the beach you’ve gotta go do it. You’re ready. You’re determined. It’s the best time to do it.”
According to the documents, Carter and Roy spoke on the phone for over an hour as she persuaded him to remain in the vehicle even as the carbon monoxide began to run. After the suicide was complete, Carter allegedly texted a friend:
“His death is my fault. Like, I honestly could have stopped it. I was the one on the phone with him and he got out of the car because [the carbon monoxide] was working and I [expletive] told him to get back in.”
Carter’s lawyer, Joseph P. Cataldo, claims that the young woman was “brainwashed” into her actions and therefore prosecutors should dismiss the charges. Cataldo argued that Carter tried to help Roy at first, but that Roy ultimately persuaded her into a death pact.
Cataldo also claims that Carter underwent treatment in a mental health facility and initially tried to persuade Roy to join her. Cataldo said:
“The government is harping, if you will, on her saying, ‘When are you going to do it? When are you going to do it?’ What they are not harping on are all the times she said, ‘Don’t do it, don’t do it.'”
Cataldo also said that the text messages between the couple are protected as free speech. She said:
“Michelle Carter’s only role in this is words.”
The case is scheduled for October 2 in New Bedford Juvenile Court.
#JusticeForConrad has been circulating around Twitter ever since the text messages were released.
Additional Coverage of this Story:
THE BOSTON GLOBE – Metro Section – Aug. 26, 2015 – ‘It’s now or never,’ text said to friend allegedly urged to kill self – She professed her love for him and promised to care for his grieving family when he was gone. All he had to do, she said, was take some Benadryl and let a combustion engine poison him with carbon monoxide. A life without pain awaited in heaven, she said. (Continue reading…)