A Massachusetts high school student was charged with involuntary manslaughter for allegedly urging a friend via text to kill himself. Conrad Roy III, 18, committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning in July while idling his truck in a Kmart parking lot in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. His friend Michelle Carter, 18, was indicted this week for allegedly sending him texts encouraging him to go through with the act.
Fairhaven police seized Roy’s cell phone after his death and said they discovered a number of texts from Carter. The department’s report noted Carter kept texting Roy to stay in his truck even after he began to have second thoughts. “[W]hen he actually started to carry out the act, he got scared again and exited his truck,” the report said, according to the Sun-Chronicle. But Carter allegedly told Roy to get back in.
The police also said Carter was texting other friends at the same time she was in contact with Roy, telling them she was worried about Roy’s safety.
“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,” said a spokesman for the Bristol County district attorney’s office, according to the Boston Globe.
Carter has pleaded not guilty in the case. Her lawyer, Joseph Cataldo, criticized the involuntary manslaughter charge. “She was not even present when he made a decision, a voluntary, conscious decision to end his own life,” he said, according to CBS News. She is due to appear in court for a pretrial hearing in April.