Teen Faces Manslaughter Charges for Not Stopping Friend’s Suicide

2015-02-27
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18-year-old Conrad Roy III graduated from Old Rochester High School and planned to attend Fitchburg State University. In the interim, he was working for his family’s marine salvage business, and had earned his boat captain’s license in just three weeks. But what many people did not know about Conrad was that he had suicidal thoughts.

Conrad shared those thoughts with his friend, 17-year old Michelle Carter, in July of last year. Carter was a senior and honor roll student at King Philip Regional High School in Plainville, MA at the time.

While most teens may have talked their friends down, and encouraged them to live, Carter encouraged Conrad to kill himself. Authorities state that there are text messages between the two from the night of his death that clearly indicate Carter’s callous role in the young man’s suicide.

Conrad was parked outside a Kmart in Fairhaven while speaking with Carter by text. Detective Scott Gordon of the Fairhaven police said in a police report: “Not only did Conrad tell Carter in several of his texts prior to his death that he was scared and didn’t want to leave his family, she continued to encourage him to take his own life, and when he actually started to carry out the act, he got scared again and exited his truck, but instead of telling him to stay out of the truck, Carter told him to ‘get back in.’”

Carter was not indicted in juvenile court, however, until February 5 of this year; she was arraigned the following day. The case was not previously publicized because of her underage status. Even though the manslaughter charges will be tried in juvenile court, the trial will be open to the public as Carter is now 18 years of age.

Carter was released on $2,500 bail, and ordered by the judge to have no access to the internet except for school work. Posting on social media or sending text messages to anyone, other than her parents, would violate the terms of her release.

The stipulation probably comes from Carter’s involvement in posting on social media about mental health issues. For example, on September 10, 2014, Carter tweeted: “National Suicide Awareness Day, I wish more people understood. I love you and miss you everyday [sic] Conrad. Help others #WeCanEndSuicide.”

Carter’s attorney, Joseph P. Cataldo, stated: “They’re trying to claim there is manslaughter, when they freely admit the boy took his own life. You can’t have it both ways.”

 

Author: Darlene M. Brown

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