Hundreds of indicting text messages sent to her deceased ex-boyfriend Conrad Roy III served as the informing evidence for 20-year-old Michelle Carter's sentence of 15 months in prison for involuntary manslaughter, handed down on Thursday. She will be on probation for five years after.
When her text messages were presented as evidence during a six-day testimony in June, the Bristol County Juvenile Court Judge Lawrence Moniz found Carter guilty of involuntary manslaughter for the death of Roy in 2014. Roy died of carbon monoxide poisoning after locking himself in his truck. A stream of texts exchanged with Carter revealed her pressuring him to get back in the truck and complete his own death.
Today, Carter received her final sentencing for the texting suicide case, where her maximum possible sentence was 20 years in prison. While she didn't receive the maximum sentencing, Roy's aunt, Kim Bozzi wrote a letter to the judge in June asking for harsh sentencing.
"Twenty years may seem extreme but it is still 20 more than Conrad will ever have," wrote Bozzi, ""I believe with my whole heart that he’d still be with us today if it weren’t for her. I believe she should be kept far away from society. Take away the spotlight that she so desperately craves."
The sentencing was live-streamed on ClickonDetroit, where viewers could watch Carter and others testify before the Moniz handed down the sentence.
Following an hour of deliberation from both the defense and the prosecution, Carter was sentenced to two-and-a-half years for the involuntary manslaughter of her ex-boyfriend Roy. She will serve 15 months at the Bristol County House of Correction, the rest of the sentence will be suspended, then she will face five years of probation.
Before her final sentencing was handed down, Roy's father, Conrad Roy Jr., read a statement to the court. "I am heartbroken; my family is heartbroken. My son was my best friend," he said. "Michelle Carter exploited his weaknesses and used him as a pawn for her own well-being. She has not shown any remorse."
During today's testimony, the prosecution asked Judge Moniz to sentence Carter to seven to 12 years in prison for her text messages encouraging Roy to kill himself.
On the contrary, the defense attorney asked for five years of supervised probation including conditions that would block Carter from contacting Roy's family, and would enroll her in mental health treatment.
Carter was charged as a youthful offender, so, even though she was 17 at the time of Roy's death, she was charged as an adult.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly noted that Michelle Carter was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison. She will serve 15 months of that sentence, with the rest suspended.