Content Warning: Suicide
Michelle Carter has been sentenced to two and a half years in jail, but must serve at least 15 months of that time behind bars for the manslaughter of her boyfriend. That sentence will be followed by five years on probation.
Her sentencing follows a case that began in 2014, when Michelle was 17 years old. She was dating Conrad Roy III at the time, after meeting him on a family holiday. Due to long-distance, their relationship was mainly via text message — which is what Michelle is coming under fire for now.
Conrad took his own life aged 20, in a car park by himself after filling his truck up with poisonous carbon monoxide. But how is that linked to Michelle?
Police uncovered text messages, from Michelle to Conrad, that allegedly ‘encouraged’ Conrad to take his life.
Messages such as: "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."
There was even a moment when Conrad spooked himself after filling his truck up — he told her he was afraid and she responded by saying, “get back in.”
Michelle’s lawyer urged the judge to take into consideration her age at the time (she was under 18) and flagged up that she was struggling with her own depression at the time too.
However, the judge ruled that sensational messages like, "The time is right and you are ready ... just do it babe," were too damaging, and played a big part in Conrad’s death.
If you, or any one you know, are seeking information about suicide prevention, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.