‘The Girl from Plainville’ follows the tragic story of Conrad Roy III’s death and the role played by his then-girlfriend, Michelle Carter. The Hulu mini-series details the events leading up to the suicide and the subsequent legal proceedings against Michelle. Thus, a variety of complex, often bewildering, events are depicted on the show, which takes a balanced approach without trying too hard to find an explanation for the tragedy.
Episode 6 sees the start of Michelle’s trial, and a variety of witnesses help piece together the events. However, what is equally evident is that the accused desperately seeks the approval and company of those she believes are her friends. We took a close look at the actual court proceedings of Michelle Carter’s trial and got you the details of all the major witnesses that testified.
Who Were the Witnesses in Michelle Carter’s Trial?
The witnesses who finally took the stand in Michelle Carter’s 2017 trial resulted from the prosecution (led by Assistant District Attorney Katie Rayburn) and defense (Attorney Joseph Cataldo), under Judge Lawrence Moniz, eventually coming to an agreement on who was admissible and who wasn’t. Michelle faced the charge of involuntary manslaughter, which could have put her in prison for twenty years.
Michelle’s former classmates, Samantha Boardman and Lexie Eblan took the witness stand during the proceedings. The former, who appeared to be Michelle’s former best friend (from her text messages), was apparently closer to Lexie. The two were at Michelle’s home for a sleepover the week of Conrad Roy’s suicide but didn’t seem to have too many memories of hanging out with Michelle.
One of the main witnesses presented by the defense is Dr. Peter Breggin, who has a history of providing expert testimony on psychopharmacology. The doctor claimed that Michelle underwent what he called involuntary intoxication due to the effects of an antidepressant called Celexa, which influenced her nature. Another expert witness who took the stand is electronics forensics expert Steven Verronneau, who described his findings from data extracted from both Michelle and Conrad’s phones and computers.
A number of law officials also appeared as witnesses, including Massachusetts State Police Trooper Michael Bates. The official claimed to have discovered text messages from Michelle on Conrad’s phone and read out some of the exchanges between the two. The defense also summoned two Mattapoisett police officers regarding an incident where Conrad allegedly endured assault at the hands of his father. The 2013 alleged assault and battery incident, however, was not discussed in detail during the legal proceedings.
The texts between Michelle and Conrad were crucial to the incident, which is often referred to as the “texting-suicide” case. Another acquaintance of Michelle’s, Olivia “Livy” Mosologo, read out a disturbing and heartwrenching message sent after Conrad’s death. Samantha Boardman also read out what has since become one of the most publicized text messages which Michelle sent about two months after Conrad’s death. An excerpt from the message said — “I could have stopped him, but I told him to get back in the car.”
Was Conrad’s Father a Defense Witness?
Both of Conrad’s parents, Lynn Roy and Conrad H. Roy, Jr., testified during Michelle’s trial. Apart from other things, the former talked about calling the authorities when her son didn’t return home the night of his death. She also described a series of text messages that Michelle sent her after her son’s death, offering support and expressing her love for Conrad.
Although the defense was not allowed to go into details about the alleged domestic violence reports in the Roy household, Conrad’s father also testified. He was not a defense witness, and the judge put a stop to the defense’s line of questioning when Joseph Cataldo attempted to ask about an alleged fight between Conrad and his father.