Twenty-year-old Michelle Carter was convicted of involuntary manslaughter this morning for repeatedly telling her then-boyfriend, 18-year-old Conrad Roy, to kill himself in a series of text messages.
“You just need to do it,” she told him at one point.
Roy’s death was due to carbon monoxide filling his truck from a generator. Carter was nowhere near him at the time, but she sent him texts including one telling him to “get back in” after he got out of the truck and called her. The prosecution argued that she had manipulated him into continuing.
Carter’s sentencing is reportedly scheduled for August 3. She faces up to 20 years behind bars. As part of her bail conditions, Judge Lawrence Moniz prohibited her from texting or using social media, according to a tweet by New York Times reporter Jess Bidgood. The verdict was a surprise, as Massachusetts — where the trial took place — doesn't have any laws against encouraging suicide. Judge Moniz was ultimately responsible for the verdict as this was not a jury trial.