Terrified Conrad Roy was on the phone to his girlfriend Michelle Carter when he fled his exhaust fume-filled pick-up truck, Mirror Reports
The suicidal 18-year-old had had second thoughts about ending it all.
But instead of welcoming his decision to save himself, Carter told him to get back in. After all, the 17-year-old was the one who had earlier texted him: “Just do it.”
Now aged 20 and convicted of involuntary manslaughter , Michelle Carter is one of the most hated people in America.
She had met Conrad in 2012 in Florida, where both were on holiday with their families.
They saw each other in person only three times, but still exchanged hundreds of texts.
As they grew closer, Conrad confided his suicidal thoughts to Carter, saying he had previously tried to kill himself.
At first she attempted to talk him out of trying again. But soon, horrifically, Carter began to encourage him to go through with it.
Several times she asked him when he would kill himself, and even suggested possible methods. “Hang yourself, jump off a building, stab yourself I don’t know there’s a lot of ways,” she said in sick text messages sent in the fortnight before his death.
In another message, she told him: “You can’t keep living this way. You just need to do it like you did last time and not think about it and just do it, babe.”
Finally, troubled Conrad texted that he was “ready”.
Carter replied: “It’s time, babe. You know that. When you get back from the beach you’ve gotta do it. You’re ready.”
“Okay, I will,” he replied, adding, “No more thinking.”
“Yes, no more thinking,” Carter wrote. “You need to just do it.”
She later added: “Just park your car and sit there and it will take, like, 20 minutes. It’s not a big deal.”
In July 2014 Conrad drove to a supermarket car park in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, where he ended his life.
Three months later, Carter sent a message to a friend, saying: “His death is my fault like honestly, I could have stopped him. I was on the phone with him, and he got out of the car because it was working and he got scared and I f***ing told him to get back in.”
Prosecutor Maryclare Flynn told a judge Carter had “ordered him back in and then listened for 20 minutes as he cried in pain, took his last breath, and then died”.
Judge Lawrence Moniz told Bristol County juvenile court that after hearing his last breaths, Carter “did nothing”. He added: “She did not call the police or Mr Roy’s family. And, finally, she did not issue a simple additional instruction: Get out of the truck.
“This court has found that Carter’s actions and failure to act where it was her self-created duty to Roy, since she put him in that toxic environment, constituted reckless conduct.”
Ms Flynn described Carter, now 20, as a calculating narcissist who craved the sympathy of her friends in Plainville, Massachusetts.
She got just that as she talked of her suicidal boyfriend, Ms Flynn said, and if he did not follow through her pals might think her a liar.
She even organised a charity baseball game for Conrad, and continued to text him after his death. “She used Conrad as a pawn in her sick game of life and death,” Ms Flynn added. Conrad’s family had no inkling of the twisted messages Carter had sent their son. His aunt, Kim Bozzi, revealed how immediately following Conrad’s death, Carter repeatedly contacted the family.
“She wanted to go through his room and take some of his belongings,” she said.
She also said Carter had even asked their family for some of Roy’s ashes. “That’s when things started to get weird,” she added.
Last week Judge Moniz sentenced Carter to a two-and-a-half-year term with 15 months in jail and the balance suspended.
Prosecutors had asked for her to be jailed for seven to 12 years, and said they were disappointed by the shorter sentence.
Judge Moniz said: “This court must balance between rehabilitation… and a punishment for the actions.”
Carter is currently free on probation, pending an appeal on her sentence.
But Conrad’s mother has launched a £3.23million lawsuit against her and is pushing for a new law to make it a crime to coerce someone into suicide.
Speaking after sentencing, Lynn Roy said: “I think she needs to be held responsible for her actions because she knew exactly what she was doing. I don’t understand why you want someone that was so beautiful inside and out, that was such a kind person, to die.”
Ms Bozzi said Carter should have received the maximum prison term of 20 years.
“She has to live as one of the most hated people in the country,” the aunt said.
“I don’t think she helped to kill himself, I think she forced him to kill himself. I think if it wasn’t for her, he’d still be here.” During Carter’s trial, heard by a judge not a jury, the court was told she too had struggled with mental illness.
Her legal team claimed antidepressants influenced her behaviour and that her texts, though reckless and ill-willed, were free speech.
They said Carter was not to blame for Conrad’s death, through carbon-monoxide poisoning, because he was suicidal and had previously tried to kill himself, adding that she did not break any laws because the state of Massachusetts has no statute against assisting or encouraging suicide. But Conrad’s mum said not even an apology, which she claims she has still not received, would stop her anger towards Carter.
“My son mattered. He matters. Will always matter,” Mrs Roy said. “He had a family and future and mom and dad. We’ll never get over him.”
Roy’s cousin, Makenna O’Donnell, said of Carter: “She gets to sleep in her own bed tonight, she gets to eat breakfast, she gets to wake up with her family. Meanwhile, where’s Conrad? Where’s Conrad?
“He’s watching us from above. He’s not going to be here any more.”