The Massachusetts Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the involuntary manslaughter conviction of a woman who encouraged her boyfriend’s suicide through text messages.
Michelle Carter will have to serve 15 months behind bars for the 2017 conviction that held her responsible for the July 2014 suicide of Conrad Roy III, 18.
She could begin her sentence as early as Monday, prosecutors said Thursday.
“The evidence against the defendant proved that, by her wanton or reckless conduct, she caused the victim’s death by suicide,” according to the high court opinion.
“Her conviction of involuntary manslaughter as a youthful offender is not legally or constitutionally infirm. The judgment is therefore affirmed.”
Carter was on the phone with Roy as he inhaled carbon monoxide inside his Ford F-250 truck in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. At the time, Carter was 17 and about a month out of a psychiatric hospital.
She opted against a jury and Bristol County Juvenile Court Judge Lawrence Moniz found that Carter caused Roy’s death by telling him to “get back in” his truck as it was filling with poisonous fumes.
The high court cited Carter’s own words, in text messages to friends after Roy’s death, as supporting her conviction.
For more on this case, watch Dateline NBC Friday at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT.
“As the defendant herself explained, and we repeat due to its importance, `[The victim’s] death is my fault like honestly I could have stopped him I was on the phone with him and he got out of the [truck] because it was working and he got scared and I f–king told him to get back in,'” the court wrote in its decision.
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SOURCE: NBC News, by David K. Li