Lawyers for a woman convicted of involuntary manslaughter after her boyfriend took his own life pleaded with the high court in Massachusetts on Thursday to toss out her case.
ABC reports that Daniel Marx, attorney for 22-year-old Michelle Carter, told the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court that Carter’s boyfriend, Conrad Roy III, made the “tragic decision” of taking his own life. Roy was just 17 in 2014, when he killed himself via carbon monoxide poisoning inside his truck, parked at a Kmart store parking lot in Fairhaven, Massachusetts.
Carter, now 22, was 17 when she sent numerous text messages to Conrad, pressuring him to go through with the suicide. The text messages ultimately became the reason she received an involuntary manslaughter conviction in 2017, but her attorneys are fighting the ruling, claiming she shouldn’t be held accountable for someone else’s decision.
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) October 4, 2018
“We can all see from the text messages that Michelle Carter did not force Conrad Roy to kill himself,” Marx said. “It was a tragic decision that he made.”
The judge who oversaw Carter’s 2017 trial indicated that she had the duty to contact law enforcement and/or Conrad’s parents once she knew her boyfriend planned to kill himself, citing the specific reference to Carter telling the victim to “get back in” his truck and finish the job.
However, the only evidence that Carter told Conrad to get back in his truck came in the form of a long text message sent out from Carter to one of her friends two months after the teen’s death. Marx also argued on Thursday that no evidence exists that can show Conrad would have been saved in time if Carter called in for help.
Prosecutors disagreed. They said Carter was just as responsible as she pushed the teen over the edge at a critical point in time when he needed help. Carter knew Conrad had attempted to kill himself in the past and in turn, pushed him to try until he succeeded.
Carter was sentenced to spend 15 months behind bars but so far, she has remained free while her lawyers fight for her appeal. The court’s ruling is expected within the upcoming months.
Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: Conrad Roy/Handout; Michelle Carter via AP/Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe]