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Michelle Carter to appeal conviction in boyfriend’s suicide by Greg Hanlon – People – Thursday, August 31, 2017
Michelle Carter, the Massachusetts woman convicted of involuntary manslaughter for urging her boyfriend to kill himself in a series of texts and phone conversations in 2014, on Wednesday filed a notice of appeal, according to court documents obtained by PEOPLE.
Carter was sentenced in early August to serve 15 months in jail, but Massachusetts judge Lawrence Moniz stayed the sentence pending her potential appeal. After her sentencing, Carter’s attorney, Joseph Cataldo, said she would appeal and that that process “could take months, years.”
It was not immediately clear what part of her case Carter will contest, the conviction or her sentence. Her attorney did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Carter was 17 when she urged Conrad Roy III, 18, to kill himself — even as the young man, who had battled depression, told her at the very end that he wanted to abandon his suicide plan.
On July 13, 2014, authorities found Roy’s body in his pickup truck, in a parking lot where, the night before, he had attached a hose to a portable generator to fill the cab with the carbon monoxide that killed him.
Carter and Roy met several years before his suicide while on separate vacations to Florida; Carter was the granddaughter of a Roy family friend. Though they lived about an hour apart in Massachusetts — Roy in Fairhaven and Carter in Plainville — the two stayed in touch through calls, emails and texts, Roy’s family and friends have said.
Following Roy’s suicide, investigators discovered a series of text messages — eventually more than 1,000, according to prosecutors — sent in the week prior to his death and exchanged between him and Carter, who said that she was his girlfriend.
Among those were messages from her that stated: “You always say you’re gonna do it, but you never do. I just want to make sure tonight is the real thing,” “You just have to do it” and “It’s painless and quick.”
Police also found Carter’s subsequent written admission to a friend in which she recalled a phone call with Roy, who had exited his truck as it filled with toxic fumes. He told her that he was scared and didn’t want to abandon his family.
“Get back in,” Carter said she told him.
Cataldo previously told PEOPLE that Roy had tried to talk Roy out of suicide — and that Roy had tried to get Carter to kill herself with him. At sentencing, Cataldo said Carter had been diagnosed with depressive disorder, adding that she “very much regrets” her actions.
Carter was sentenced to two-and-a-half years, but all but 15 months of that sentence were suspended. She had faced up to 20 years after being charged as a youthful offender, which under state law allowed her to be sentenced the same as an adult although she was a minor at the time of her crime.
As part of the sentence, Judge Moniz ruled that Carter could not make any money in connection with her case, saying that “part of the motivation for [the crime] … was a sense of self-aggrandizement. This court now orders that you are not to profit from the events of which you now stand convicted.”
Legal experts have told PEOPLE they believe Carter will ultimately serve jail time.
Conrad’s mother, Lynn Roy, has filed a wrongful death suit seeking $4.2 million in lost future wages, according to the Associated Press.
“I don’t believe she has a conscience,” Lynn told CBS of Carter. “The fact that she would say to him, ‘Your family will get over you.’ How is that even — I will never get over him.”