5 Years After 'Texting Suicide,' Michelle Carter Jailed

Lawyers weren't able to keep her sentence at bay any longer
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 11, 2019 4:00 PM CST
5 Years After 'Texting Suicide,' Michelle Carter Jailed
Michelle Carter, 22, appears in Taunton District Court in Taunton, Mass. Monday, February 11, 2019 for a hearing on her prison sentence.   (Mark Stockwell/The Sun Chronicle via AP, Pool)

A Massachusetts woman who sent her suicidal boyfriend a barrage of text messages urging him to kill himself was jailed Monday on an involuntary manslaughter conviction nearly five years after he died in a truck filled with toxic gas, the AP reports. Michelle Carter was sentenced to 15 months in jail in 2017 for her role in the death of Conrad Roy III, but the judge allowed her to remain free while she appealed in state court. Massachusetts' highest court upheld her conviction last week, saying her actions caused Roy's death. A lawyer for Carter had argued the 22-year-old should stay out of jail while her defense team takes her case to the US Supreme Court. Her attorneys said in court documents that she has no prior criminal record, hasn't tried to flee, and has been receiving mental health treatment. But a judge ruled Monday that she should start her sentence.

Earlier in the day, Massachusetts' highest court denied an emergency motion filed by her lawyers to keep her out of jail. Carter showed no discernible emotion as she was taken into custody, though her shoulders sagged as she stood and prepared to be led away. Roy's aunt expressed relief Monday, saying his family believes justice had been served even though the case had been a long and difficult ordeal for them. "We hope that no one else ever has to feel this pain," Becky Maki said. "His life mattered." An attorney for Carter vowed to continue to appeal. "Make no mistake, this legal fight is not over," Joe Cataldo said. Carter was 17 when Roy, 18, took his own life in Fairhaven, a town on Massachusetts' south coast in July 2014. In dozens of text messages revealed during her sensational trial, Carter pushed Roy to end his life and chastised him when he hesitated. (Much more on the case here.)

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