A 22-year-old woman who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter after she encouraged her boyfriend to commit suicide is planning on appealing her conviction all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court
WBTS reported that Massachusetts resident Michelle Carter was convicted in 2017 of being involved in the 2014 suicide death of her long-distance boyfriend, 18-year-old Conrad Roy III. She was sentenced to serve 15 months in prison, though her sentence was stayed while the appeals process played out.
Carter’s appeal was denied on Wednesday by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and prosecutors quickly moved to set a date for when Carter would begin to serve her sentence.
However, Carter’s attorneys are seeking to reschedule the Feb. 11 hearing on her sentencing, citing their intention to request the stay on her sentence remain in place as they file an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court.
Texts encouraging suicide
Carter’s case drew national attention as it was revealed in her trial that, rather than explicitly encourage Roy to seek out professional help for his personal problems, the then-17-year-old Carter had instead encouraged Roy to go through with his plan to commit suicide.
Indeed, dozens of text messages from Carter to Roy during his final hours revealed she almost insisted that he follow through on his vow to kill himself, even ordering him at one point to get back into a vehicle that was filling up with lethal levels of carbon monoxide.
“The time is right and you are ready … just do it babe,” Carter wrote in one text, while in another text she wrote, “You can’t think about it. You just have to do it. You said you were gonna do it. Like I don’t get why you aren’t.”
In yet another text, Carter said, “You keep pushing it off and say you’ll do it but u never do. It’s always gonna be that way if u don’t take action.”
SCOTUS only avenue of appeal left
Prosecutors had argued that Carter bore a level of responsibility in Roy’s suicide, and a judge had agreed that she had been a cause of his death.
Carter’s lawyers, however, had insisted that Roy was intent on killing himself and couldn’t dissuaded. They said that Carter had initially attempted to talk him out of it, but relented to his determination and made “bad choices” by encouraging him to do what he planned to do, which they suggested was not a crime.
They also attempted to excuse Carter’s behavior by citing mental health issues of her own — such as anorexia, bulimia and depression — that she dealt with at the time.
WBTS reported that the motion by Carter’s attorneys to reschedule the sentencing hearing was denied, so she will likely soon begin serving her 15-month prison sentence, unless the U.S. Supreme Court steps in and extends her stay while they consider the case.