Supreme Court denies appeal of Michelle Carter, who convinced boyfriend to commit suicide via text messages

by Bryan Brammer · Jan 13th, 2020 1:01 pm
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Last Updated Jan 13th, 2020 at 2:09 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court announced on Monday that it would not be hearing the appeal case of Michelle Carter, the woman who urged her boyfriend to kill himself through text messages and phone calls.

Carter was convicted in 2017 of involuntary manslaughter in the death of 18-year-old Conrad Roy III after investigators discovered a series of text messages in which she encouraged Roy to follow through with his suicide attempt, despite his feelings of doubt. She was sentenced to 15 months in prison.

Roy committed suicide in July 2014 by filling his truck with carbon monoxide and sitting inside until he fainted. The evidence showed that Carter spoke with Roy on the phone the day he took his life, even telling him to get back in the truck after he climbed out of it.

The judge determined that Carter's statements and negligence to call for help or contact 911 led to her conviction. Her lawyers said that Carter could not be convicted based on what she said or texted and that it was a violation of free speech.

However, the state determined that its ruling and the subsequent Supreme Court denial of the appeal was consistent with the exception to the First Amendment for "speech integral to criminal conduct."