‘The Girl from Plainville’ delves into the “texting-suicide” case and follows the story of Roy Conrad III’s death. The first half of the show details the evolution of Conrad and Michelle’s relationship and how their conversation turned into a discussion of suicide. In the later episodes, we see Michelle on trial for her involvement in Conrad’s death. The case of Michelle Carter goes on till the season finale, giving us some interesting details. Let’s take a look at what happened in the actual trial and whether Michelle Carter testified. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Did Michelle Carter Testify in Her Trial?
Michelle Carter was indicted on February 5, 2015, and charged with involuntary manslaughter. She and her defense, led by Joseph Cataldo, chose to have a bench trial, meaning that the outcome would be decided by a judge and not a jury. Her 2017 trial concluded with Judge Lawrence Moniz laying down a guilty verdict and sentencing Michelle to two and a half years in prison with 15 months served and the rest suspended.
The mini-series finale depicts that Michelle never testifies during her trial. This is accurate because, even in real life, Michelle Carter did not testify at her trial. This appears to be a strategy employed by the defense to possibly avoid a difficult cross-questioning session by the prosecution. The witnesses that testified at the trial included some of Michelle’s former high school classmates and acquaintances. Ultimately, the judge pointed out that it was her failure to stop Conrad when he was in the process of taking his own life that made Michelle criminally responsible.
When Did Michelle Carter Actually Go to Prison?
Michelle Carter was sentenced to prison on August 3, 2017. However, she was then allowed to appeal the verdict. A stay of sentence also allowed her to remain free during the appeals process. This is why, on the show, Michelle is seen out and about, getting a haircut with her mother, even after she’s been convicted. In the second week of February 2019, the court upheld the initial verdict, and Michelle was taken into custody to serve her 15-month jail sentence. Thus, Michelle actually went to prison about a year and a half after her sentencing.
On January 23, 2020, Michelle Carter was released from Bristol County jail in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, after serving 12 months. The remaining three months were waived for good behavior. Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson also described Michelle as a “model inmate” who participated in jail programs, which allowed her to cut down her time in prison. Michelle’s probation is slated to end in August 2022. Until then, she is not allowed to profit from her story or have any contact with Conrad Roy III’s family.