TAUNTON, Mass. - A woman who encouraged her boyfriend to kill himself in dozens of text messages and told him to "get back in" a truck filled with toxic gas was sentenced Thursday to 2.5 years.
Michelle Carter was convicted of involuntary manslaughter by a judge who said her final instruction to Conrad Roy III caused his death. Carter faced a maximum of 20 years in prison.
The judge said that she will only serve 15 months of her sentence in prison, with the rest of it served as suspended until August 2022.
"How could Michelle Carter behave so viciously?" Conrad Roy Jr., the young man's father, asked the courtroom.
Conrad Roy’s family spoke Thursday during victim impact statements, remembering him as loving, sensitive and an excellent brother.
“He gave me an amazing 13 years being my best friend and best role model," said Camden Roy, Conrad Roy's sister.
Conrad Roy’s mother wasn’t in court because she said it was too painful; his father spoke strongly against Carter.
Carter was 17 when the 18-year-old Roy was found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning in 2014.
The judge said that state had proven beyond a reasonable doubt that she acted recklessly and ultimately was responsible for his death when she told him to get back into the truck.
The Commonwealth asked for seven to 12 years in prison, saying that Carter had never shown remorse and tried to deceive his parents.
“Her support system just does not get the impact of what she did,” said ADA Katie Rayburn.
Carter's lawyer asked for probation and continued counseling, noting her mental health problems and eating disorder.
"Miss Carter does not pose a danger to the public," said Defense attorney Cataldo.
Cataldo said what happened was out of character and she would be a successful candidate for probation.
"This is a horrible circumstance that she regrets and does take responsibility in her letter," said Cataldo.
The same judge who found Michelle Carter guilty of involuntary manslaughter in a bench trial handed down her sentence.
Immediately after the sentence, Cataldo moved to wait for her incarceration after the appeal process. Instead, they asked for probation first.