Michelle Carter’s conviction in 2017 was of immense interest to both the general public and the legal community. When Conrad Roy took his own life in July 2014, Michelle became the focal point of the investigation after her text conversations with him came to light. The trial proceedings and the story behind Conrad’s death form the subjects of Investigation Discovery’s ‘Michelle Carter: Love, Texts, and Death’ and NBC’s ‘Dateline: Reckless.’ So, let’s find out more about what happened in the case and where Michelle might be now, shall we?
Who is Michelle Carter?
Michelle Carter met Conrad Roy in Naples, Florida, in 2012. They were both vacationing there at the time. Conrad was there visiting relatives along with his sisters. These relatives knew Michelle, and that was how they were introduced to each other. She was described as a bubbly and athletic student. While the two only lived about an hour from each other back home in Massachusetts, they did most of their talking over text messages, online, and over phone calls.
Both Conrad and Michelle dealt with depression. Michelle had also struggled with an eating disorder. Conrad had also tried to kill himself once in October 2012 after his parents’ divorce. While Michelle tried to help him through it and discouraged him from taking such a drastic step again for many months, something changed in the two weeks before Conrad died. He was found dead in his pickup truck on July 13, 2014, parked at a local grocery store. The cause of death was carbon monoxide inhalation.
When the authorities looked at Conrad and Michelle’s text messages, a disturbing pattern emerged. It appeared from Michelle’s texts, especially on the day of his death, that she was pushing him towards killing himself. She texted him sometime in the afternoon on July 12, “When you get back from the beach, you gotta … do it….” Another text she sent to her friend, Samantha, read, “Sam, his death was my fault, like honestly, I could have stopped him. I was on the phone, and he got out of the car because it was working and he got scared, and I told him to get back in …. they read my messages with him, I’m done. His family will hate me, and I could go to jail.”
Michelle, then 17 years old, also told other friends that she was on the phone with Conrad during his final moments. With this information coming to light, Michelle was charged with involuntary manslaughter. The prosecution pointed to the dozens of text messages she sent to Conrad urging him to kill himself. The defense had an expert testify that Michelle’s antidepressant medication affected how she thought about the best way to help Conrad.
Where is Michelle Carter Now?
In June 2017, a judge found Michelle guilty of involuntary manslaughter. The judge felt that Michelle asking Conrad to get back into the car amounted to reckless conduct. He also brought attention to the fact that Michelle knew Conrad was in trouble, but she never called for help. In August the same year, Michelle was sentenced to a two-and-a-half-year term that included a 15-month stint in jail and the rest suspended. The judge allowed her to remain free while she appealed her sentence. In 2019, Michelle’s conviction was upheld. Her request for parole in September 2019 was denied. However, she was released early in January 2020 for good behavior after serving about 12 months of the 15-month sentence. Michelle is now serving her five-year probation.
Read More: Where Are Conrad Roy’s Parents Now?