Texting Suicide Case: Michelle Carter's Lawyers Petition Supreme Court

Michelle Carter continued to send messages even after Conrad Roy told her that he was too scared to kill himself.

July 10, 2019

Photo by: Mug shot of Michelle Carter [Bristol County Sheriff's Office]

Mug shot of Michelle Carter [Bristol County Sheriff's Office]

By: Catherine Townsend

Lawyers for the teen who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter after she pressured her boyfriend into killing himself via text messages and phone calls are petitioning the United States Supreme Court to review the case.

Michelle Carter's lawyers filed the motion with the Supreme Court on Monday in order to ask for a review on First Amendment grounds, according to MSN.

The case made national headlines in 2014 after 18-year-old Conrad Roy committed suicide by poisoning himself with carbon monoxide in his truck.

Police discovered messages between Carter, then 17, and Roy that appeared to urge Roy to take his own life. Carter continued to send messages even after Roy told her that he was too scared to kill himself.

Carter's lawyers wrote in the motion that her communication with Roy “did not constitute speech that was ‘an integral part of conduct in violation of a valid criminal statute.'" The motion also questioned whether Carter’s conviction violated the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment.

In a statement, Carter’s lawyers said her conviction should not stand. Daniel Marx, one of Carter's attorneys, called Roy's death "tragic," but stated that his client "should not be held criminally responsible for his suicide."

“This petition focuses on just two of the many flaws in the case against her that raise important federal constitutional issues for the U.S. Supreme Court to decide,” he said.

In 2017, Judge Lawrence Moniz found Carter guilty of involuntary manslaughter. Moniz believed that, even though Roy may have attempted to take his life without Carter’s influence, Roy would have left his truck if Carter had not texted him, instructing him to get back inside.

Moniz sentenced Carter to serve 15 months behind bars, which was stayed while her appeal was pending. In February, the state Supreme Judicial Court upheld Carter’s conviction and sentence. The court found that Carter acted with criminal intent when she “badgered” Roy into taking his own life.

She is currently incarcerated in the Bristol County House of Correction.

As reported by USA Today, many of Carter's texts to Roy were seemingly copied from the TV show Glee, interviews with actress Lea Michele, and Taylor Swift songs.

Read more: MSN.com, USA Today

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