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'Where was her humanity?' US woman (20) to serve 15 months in jail over boyfriend's suicide

Michelle Carter urged her boyfriend to kill himself.

Michelle Carter, who was 17 years old when she sent texts to her then boyfriend urging him to kill himself.
Michelle Carter, who was 17 years old when she sent texts to her then boyfriend urging him to kill himself.
Image: Matt West/PA

TODAY A JUDGE sentenced a 20-year-old woman to two and a half years, of which 15 months would be served behind bars, for encouraging her teenage boyfriend to kill himself.

Judge Lawrence Moniz told Michelle Carter in the Bristol County House of Corrections that after the 15 months, the balance of her sentence would be suspended until 1 August 2022 on probation.

Moniz said it had been important to balance punishment and rehabilitation for her role in the death of Conrad Roy, 18, who died from carbon monoxide poisoning in his truck in July 2014.

Carter and Roy exchanged hundreds of text messages in which the young woman repeatedly urged him to follow through on his plan to kill himself, conceal it from his parents and lie to his mother.

Carter, who was 17 years old at the time of Roy’s death, stood to hear the sentence in a juvenile court in Taunton, south of Boston, her hands clasped in front and her eyes cast down. She wore red pants and a cream blouse.

Reading a victim impact statement, Roy’s father, Conrad Roy Junior, told the court he was heartbroken over the loss of his son and accused Carter of exploiting his battle with depression as a pawn in her own well-being.

‘Vicious’

“How could Michelle Carter behave so viciously and encourage my son to end his life? Where was her humanity? In what world is this acceptable?” he asked.

“I pray that his death will save lives one day,” Roy’s mother said in a statement read out by the prosecution. “I pray that a law comes forth so another mother doesn’t have to endure what I am.”

The prosecution had sought a sentence of between seven and 12 years, accusing Carter of waging “a deliberate, well-thought-out campaign” to cause Roy’s death in a bid to seek attention and sympathy.

“Her actions killed Conrad Roy. She ended his life to better her own,” the prosecuting lawyer told the court.

“She has not accepted responsibility,” she said. “She has shown no remorse.”

The defence requested five years of supervised probation attached to conditions, including mental health counselling, and said Carter herself suffered from depression, had been on anti-depressants, and battled eating disorders.

- © AFP, 2017

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