Manage episode 339031482 series 2855804
Conrad Henri Roy III, was an American teenager who died by suicide at the age of 18. His girlfriend, 17-year-old Michelle Carter, encouraged him in text messages to kill himself. The case was the subject of a notable investigation and involuntary manslaughter trial in Massachusetts, colloquially known as the "texting suicide case." Commonwealth v. Michelle Carter involved scores of text messages, emails, and phone calls recorded between Carter and Roy in the leadup to his death, in which Carter repeatedly texted Roy to kill himself. Roy had seen numerous mental health professionals and had been prescribed psychiatric medication. The case raised questions pertaining to the nature and limits of criminal responsibility. Lawrence Moniz, the judge assigned to Carter's criminal trial, concluded that Carter wanted Roy dead and that her words coerced him to kill himself. Carter was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, chiefly on the basis of her final phone call in which she ordered a scared Roy to go back inside his truck as it filled with carbon monoxide.
Roy was born on September 12, 1995, in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts. He worked with his father, grandfather, and uncle for several years in his family's marine salvage business, Tucker-Roy Marine Towing and Salvage, Inc., in the New England area. In the Spring of 2014, he earned his captain's license from the Northeast Maritime Institute by completing three months of night classes. In June 2014 he graduated on the Honor Roll (highest grades) from Old Rochester Regional High School (ORR) in Mattapoisett. He was a high school athlete who played baseball, rowed crew, and ran track. He graduated with a 3.88 GPA and was accepted to Fitchburg State University to study business, which he never attended.
Carter and Conrad Roy met in Florida in 2012 while each had been visiting relatives. After this initial encounter, they saw each other in person again only a handful of times over the course of two years, despite having lived only about 35 miles (56 km) away from each other. Instead, they mostly exchanged text messages and emails.
According to court documents, Roy had allegedly been physically hit by his father and verbally abused by his grandfather. He attempted suicide in October 2012, after the divorce of his parents. After learning that he was planning to kill himself, Carter repeatedly discouraged him in 2012 and 2014, and encouraged him to "get professional help". However, her attitude changed in July 2014, when she started thinking that it would be a "good thing to help him die". In June, Roy texted Carter suggesting they act like Romeo and Juliet, later checking to make sure she understood that meant they had to each killed themselves.
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