Michelle Carter: Love, Texts, & Death on ID is examing the 2014 death of Massachusetts teenager Conrad Roy. Conrad’s girlfriend, Michelle Carter, was later charged with involuntary manslaughter after the police determined that she had persuaded Conrad to kill himself.
At the time, the case received widespread media attention as a debate emerged over whether or not someone could be charged with causing another person’s suicide.
On July 13, 2014, Conrad killed himself by inhaling toxic fumes in his pickup truck in a Kmart parking lot in Fairhaven, MA. The 18-year-old had endured numerous mental health issues for many years and had even attempted suicide in 2012.
The police learned that Conrad had been involved in an online relationship with 17-year-old Michelle Carter since 2012. Despite living only 35 miles apart in the Boston suburbs, the pair’s romance was confined to texts, emails, and phone calls.
Conrad had confided in Michelle about his mental health difficulties, and he had told her about his wish to kill himself. Initially, Michelle discouraged him from having suicidal thoughts; however, her attitude seemed to change around July 2014 when she began encouraging him to kill himself.
The cops came across multiple messages from Michelle, which seemed to berate him for not killing himself. In one exchange, she wrote: “I thought you wanted to do this. The time is right and you’re ready, you just need to do it! You can’t keep living this way.”
Michelle Conrad listened to Conrad Roy killing himself
Michelle also seemed to downplay the effect Conrad’s death would have on his family and gave him advice on how, when, and where to kill himself. She then listened to him die on the phone and failed to alert the authorities or his family.
At her trial, the defense lawyers argued their client was a severely troubled individual. They said Conrad had long intended to commit suicide. They also stressed that Conrad’s own physical actions had led to his death, and to punish Michelle would be an infringement on her right to free speech.
Michelle Carter was tried as a juvenile, and ultimately, she was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. She was sentenced to15 months in prison but was released after 11 months due to good behavior.
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Michelle Carter: Love, Texts, & Death airs at 9/8c on ID and will be available to stream on Discovery+.