A teenager who adamantly tried to have her boyfriend kill himself is standing trial for involuntary manslaughter on Friday.
Nineteen-year-old Michelle Carter is accused of persuading, even coaxing, 18-year old Conrad Roy III into committing suicide after Roy was found dead from carbon monoxide poisoning in his pickup truck.
“You’re finally going to be happy in heaven. No more pain,” Carter explains in a text message, according to court documents. “It’s okay to be scared and it’s normal. I mean, you’re about to die.”
Roy conversed on the phone with Carter for 47 minutes after he connected a generator to his truck’s exhaust system, the Boston Globe reports. Carter even told Roy to get back in the truck and finish the job when he became uneasy over the prospect of dying.
The build up to the suicide reveals that Carter was quite incessant in her recommendations, even criticizing Roy for his procrastination.
“You can’t think about it. You just have to do it. You said you were gonna do it. Like I don’t get why you aren’t,” Carter clamored.
After the deed was done, Carter posted pictures of herself and friends on a trip in Disney World. The accused perpetrator also published photos of herself participating in school competitions and attending prom.
“It doesn’t seem she understands the gravity of the situation,” Roy’s aunt, Becki Maki told an ABC News affiliate. “It’s insensitive to post pictures, especially since there’s a court ban against her being on social media.”
Carter was the one who gave Roy advice on what she considers a great way to die: carbon monoxide poisoning.
“Well, there is more ways to make CO. Google ways to make it,” Carter texted. Messages later she suggested that he “take some Benadryls just in case” the noxious gas didn’t kill him.
CONRAD: Yeah, I’m gonna fall asleep and peacefully die.
CARTER: Yeah, that’s the best way.
CONRAD: See, I knew you would help me find a better way. it’s so easy. All I need to do is get it, fill it with gas, and boom.
CARTER: Yup, ha ha. It’s that simple.
A day or so later, Carter insisted that Conrad get the “gas machine.”
CARTER: Do you have any at work that you can go and get?
CONRAD: Yeah, probably, ha ha.
CARTER: GO GET ONE
She even provided him with backup plans just in case the carbon monoxide method did not work. “But next I’d try the bag or hanging. Hanging is painless and takes like a second if you do it right,” Carter proposed.
When Roy was still living, Carter grew frustrated and amped up the pressure. At around 4:19 a.m. she messaged him once again:
CARTER: So I guess you aren’t gonna do it then. All that for nothing. I’m just confused. Like you were so ready and determined.
CONRAD: I am gonna eventually. I really don’t know what I’m waiting for but I have everything lined up.
CARTER: No, you’re not, Conrad. Last night was it. You kept pushing it off and you say you’ll do it, but you never do. It’s always gonna be that way if you don’t take action. You’re just making it harder on yourself by pushing it off. You just have to do it. Do you want to do it now?
The case has brought up philosophical legal debates, as Carter’s defense attorney contends that her actions are permitted by the 1st Amendment’s protection of free speech. Carter’s counsel, Joseph Cataldo, also asserts that there is no case against his client because Massachusetts doesn’t have explicit laws pertaining to assisted suicide.
“Basically the analogy goes like this–we’re out to dinner and you choke on a chicken bone,” Quintal told the New Boston Post. “I don’t have to save you but I can’t impede help from getting to you, I can’t block paramedics from getting to you.
Did she impede the ability to get him help? There’s a lot here,” Quintal continued.
At the time of Roy’s suicide in 2014, Carter was 17, so she is being charged as a juvenile at a court in Taunton, Mass.
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