A high school senior has been indicted on charges of involuntary manslaughter for allegedly encouraging her friend to kill himself.
Michelle Carter, an 18-year-old student of King Philip Regional High School in Wrentham, Mass., was indicted as a “youthful offender” by a Bristol County grand jury. According to the Sun Chronicle, Carter urged Conrad Roy III, 18, of Fairhaven to commit suicide.
Roy eventually did kill himself last July by idling in a truck in a Fairhaven Kmart parking lot. Authorities later went through Roy’s cellphone and found texts that suggest Carter played a major role in his eventual death.
“Not only did Conrad tell Carter in several of his texts prior to his death that he was scared and didn’t want to leave his family, she continued to encourage him to take his own life,” said Fairhaven police Detective Scott Gordon in a police report. “And when he actually started to carry out the act, he got scared again and exited his truck, but instead of telling him to stay out of the truck … Carter told him to ‘get back in.'”
In the wake of Roy’s death, Carter organized a softball tournament last September to raise money for mental illness on behalf of her deceased friend, and frequently posted about suicide prevention on her social media profiles.
Spokesman for Bristol County District Attorney Quinn Gregg Miliote issued a statement concerning the case Thursday:
Based on the totality of the investigation, it is alleged that Ms. Carter had first-hand knowledge of Roy’s suicidal thoughts. Instead of attempting to assist him or notify his family or school officials, Ms. Carter is alleged to have strongly influenced his decision to take his own life, encouraged him to commit suicide and guided him in his engagement of activities which led to his death.
Carter, who lives in Plainville, was indicted February 5 and arraigned the following day. She is currently free on bail and due to appear in court in April, when she could face punishment as an adult if convicted.