/Michelle Carter, who encouraged boyfriends suicide, released from jail early for good behavior

Michelle Carter, who encouraged boyfriends suicide, released from jail early for good behavior


Michelle Carter, left, leaves the Bristol County jail in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, after serving most of a 15-month manslaughter sentence for urging her suicidal boyfriend to kill himself in 2014. The 23-year-old, released three months early for good behavior, will serve five years of probation. Jan. 23, 2020

Michelle Carter, a Massachusetts woman convicted of involuntary manslaughter for encouraging her boyfriend to kill himself in a high-profile texting-suicide case, was released from jail early for good behavior Thursday after serving 11 months. 

Carter, 22, was escorted out of the Bristol County House of Corrections in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, around 9:30 a.m. by corrections employees holding a pair of plastic bags of clothes. 

She was picked up by her parents and attorneys in a black Jeep while a swarm of reporters waited outside. A television station’s helicopter followed the vehicle as it left the facility. 

Carter’s release came four months before the end of her 15-month jail sentence. She had been in jail since February after she was convicted in 2017 of involuntary manslaughter in the suicide of Conrad Roy III in 2014. 

Texting suicide case:Supreme Court won’t take up appeal of Michelle Carter

Jonathan Darling, a spokesman for the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office, said state law allows inmates to shave up to 10 days off their sentences for each month served for good behavior.

He said Carter participated in vocational and educational programs, took civics classes, worked in the cafeteria of the women’s jail and stayed out of trouble. 

“While she was here, we had no problems with her, no fights, no gangs, nothing like that,” Darling said. “She was polite to our staff, our volunteers. And she was in a lot of programs. I guess the best way to say it is she was sort of a model inmate here in Bristol County.”

Joseph Cataldo, Carter’s attorney, said in an email to USA TODAY, “I am very pleased she is home. Future legal plans will be announced in due course.”

Carter’s release from jail was met with disappointment by Roy’s grandfather, Conrad Roy, who told the Boston Herald, “The sheriff should serve the rest of her time. He lets her go because she’s a good girl? She’s not a good girl.”

Last week, the Supreme Court refused to hear her appeal seeking to overturn her conviction. A state court’s decision was upheld by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in February. In September, a state parole board denied Carter early release.

Carter, of Plainville, Massachusetts, was 17 at the time of Roy’s death in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. She incessantly messaged him to kill himself, which he did by inhaling fumes in a generator he put inside a truck. Roy had attempted suicide multiple times and struggled with depression and mental illness. 

Carter talked on the phone at length with Roy when he was parked at a Kmart lot where he died. She texted a friend that she told him to “get back in” the vehicle after he stepped out.

The Carter case reentered the spotlight last year when HBO released a two-part documentary titled “I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth v. Michelle Carter.”

Background:Michelle Carter, who encouraged boyfriend to kill himself, denied early release from prison

Backed by Roy’s mother, Lynn, Massachusetts state lawmakers are considering legislation dubbed “Conrad’s Law” that would criminalize suicide coercion in the commonwealth.

Massachusetts is one of 10 states without laws that explicitly punish individuals who induce others to kill themselves. Rather than being subject to manslaughter, as Carter was, a person who intentionally “encourages or coerces” a suicide or suicide attempt would face a new specific criminal liability imposed under the bill.

Reach Joey Garrison and on Twitter @joeygarrison.

Michelle Carter, center, leaves the Bristol County jail, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, in Dartmouth, Mass., after serving most of a 15-month manslaughter sentence for urging her suicidal boyfriend to kill himself in 2014. The 23-year-old, released three months early for good behavior, will serve five years of probation.
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