Father of texting suicide victim says Michelle Carter used son "as a pawn"

A Massachusetts woman was sentenced to 15 months in jail for using text messages to encourage her friend to commit suicide.


A judge ruled Michelle Carter will not have to go to jail until all of her state appeals are exhausted.

She was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Conrad Roy in June.

“48 Hours” correspondent Erin Moriarty spoke with Roy’s family after Thursday’s sentencing hearing for an interview you will see only on “CBS This Morning.”

Carter was allowed to go home with her family after she was sentenced. 

If her appeals are successful, she may never serve a day behind bars.  Her punishment left Roy’s loved ones shell-shocked and at a loss for words.

Asked if this case will ever be over for her, Conrad’s mother Lynn Roy, said, “No. It never will be.”

Roy’s family was distraught as it became clear they would not see Carter hauled off to jail

“We want to put it past us. We want to move on. Best way we can,” Lynn said. 

Carter was on the phone with Conrad as he was dying of carbon monoxide poisoning inside his truck in July 2014.

She never called for help. When Conrad apparently changed his mind and got out of his vehicle, she even told him to get back inside.

Conrad suffered from depression and before he killed himself, carter sent the 18-year-old dozens of texts pressuring him to commit suicide.

One read, “Hang yourself, jump off a building, stab yourself I don’t know there’s a lot of ways.”

“Michelle Carter exposed my son’s weaknesses and used him as a pawn. Where was her humanity?” said Conrad’s father.

Carter, who herself has struggled with anxiety and eating disorders, wept at times during the hearing.

“This is a tragedy for two families,” said Judge Lawrence Moniz.

Moniz sentenced her to two and a half years in jail, but said Carter would only have to spend half of that – 15 months – behind bars. She also received five years’ probation.

The judge noted Carter was three weeks shy of turning 18 at the time of Conrad’s suicide, still a child in the eyes of the law.

“The fact that they are still of that young age offers a greater promise of rehabilitation,” Moniz said.

Moniz then put Carter’s sentence on hold to allow her lawyers to file appeals. 

“I don’t think anybody would be prepared to go to jail for what they said. Words alone don’t end up putting people in jail,” said Joseph Cataldo, Carter’s defense attorney.

Prosecutors, who asked for at least a seven-year prison sentence, said Carter needs to be held accountable.

Conrad Roy’s mother told CBS News she hopes her son’s death will lead to a new law, so that no other mother has to go through her pain.


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