Michelle Carter Sentenced to Two-and-a-Half Years in Prison

The texting suicide case had captured the world's attention.

Photo via AP

Michelle Carter, found guilty in June for her role in a texting suicide case for convincing her boyfriend to kill himself, has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison, with 15 months to serve.

She is not headed behind bars today. Judge Lawrence Moniz has allowed a stay on her prison sentence while her case is appealed, so Carter will be on probation.

She will have to report to a probation officer and submit to a mental health evaluation, and was ordered to stay away from witnesses and the victim’s family. She is also forbidden from ever profiting from the case in any way, including via movies, books, and radio or TV appearances. Moniz said her actions constituted an attempt at “self-aggrandizement.”

The Plainville woman was convicted in July of involuntary manslaughter. Carter was 17 at the time she encouraged her boyfriend, Conrad Roy, to kill himself, which he did outside a Fairhaven K-Mart in July of 2014 by pumping carbon monoxide into his truck, as Carter had told him to do. “You have everything you need. There is no way you can fail. Tonight is the night. It’s now or never,” she said in a text message, one of many between the two that were released by the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office.

On Thursday, Judge Moniz said he found that Carter was fully capable of understanding what she was doing. “I have not found that Ms Carter’s age or mental maturity, or even her mental illness, have any substantial impact on her actions. She was a bright young lady, did well in school, and I am satisfied that she was mindful of the actions for which she now stands convicted.”


Spencer Buell Staff Writer at Boston Magazine sbuell@bostonmagazine.com