Michelle Carter has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for urging her boyfriend, Conrad Roy III, to commit suicide in 2014 via text messages and phone calls.
The Massachusetts’ Bristol County Juvenile Court Judge Lawrence Moniz announced the verdict on Friday, June 16, and said that Carter’s actions played a key role in his death, The Washington Post reports. The 20-year-old, who could face up to 20 years in prison, will be sentenced in August.
Carter, who was 17 at the time, allegedly encouraged Roy, then 18, to take his own life after he had second thoughts. Roy poisoned himself by inhaling carbon monoxide in his pickup truck in a store parking lot in Fairhaven, Massachusetts.
“You’re finally going to be happy in heaven. No more pain. It’s okay to be scared and it’s normal. I mean, you’re about to die,” Carter wrote in one text, according to The Washington Post.
Days before his death, Carter encouraged him to seek professional help, but later changed her tone and urged him to go through with it. “Last night was it. You keep pushing it off and you say you’ll do it but u never do. Its always gonna be that way if u don’t take action,” Carter texted Roy, per The Washington Post. “You’re just making it harder on yourself by pushing it off, you just have to do it.”
Carter’s attorney argued that Roy had a history of depression and suicide attempts, Fox News reports. The defense also argued that Carter’s text messages were protected free speech.
According to the Associated Press, Carter will remain free on bail. She was ordered not to contact Roy’s family and isn’t allowed to leave the state.