Michelle Carter, the young woman convicted of encouraging her boyfriend to kill himself, had her request for parole rejected by a Massachusetts state board.
“The [board] is troubled that Ms. Carter not only encouraged [Conrad Roy III] to take his own life, she actively prevented others from intervening in his suicide,” the parole board wrote in its decision released Friday morning. “Ms. Carter’s self-serving statements and behavior, leading up to and after his suicide, appear to be irrational and lacked sincerity.”
The board added that Carter needs to address the “causative effects” that led to the offense.
“Release does not meet the legal standard,” the board concluded.
Carter’s lawyer said she will probably not make another parole application because she is likely to earn enough credits for good behavior to be released from the Bristol County jail in February — a few months short of her full 15-month sentence.
“She’s been a model inmate,” lawyer Joseph Cataldo told NBC News on Friday. “She was a perfect candidate to obtain parole.”
Cataldo said “the parole board’s decision is based on the incorrect and dangerous legal ruling” by Massachusetts courts that upheld his client’s conviction.
Carter was convicted in 2017 of involuntary manslaughter in the death of 18-year-old Conrad Roy III in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. The 23-year-old woman, who was 17 at the time of Roy’s death in 2014, began her sentence in February.
Roy died by suicide after filling the inside of his pickup truck with poisonous fumes. When he had second thoughts, Carter texted him to “get back in” the truck.
Carter’s attorneys argued her texts were constitutionally protected free speech. Her conviction has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
A Bristol County Juvenile Court judge this past February ordered Carter to begin serving 15 months behind bars, after the state Supreme Court upheld her conviction.
Earlier this year, state lawmakers proposed a new law called “Conrad’s Law,” which would make it a crime, punishable by up to five years, for anyone who “intentionally coerces or encourages” a suicide or suicide attempt.
The case was subject of an HBO documentary this summer, “I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth vs. Michelle Carter.”
The two-part series showed that both teens struggled with depression. And in great detail, “I Love You” showed how Carter relentlessly texted Roy, encouraging him to killing himself.
“You keep pushing it off and say you’ll do it but u never do. It’s always gonna be that way if u don’t take action,” Carter texted him he on the day he died.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.