Text messages released by prosecutors earlier this month allegedly show a Massachusetts teen pressuring her friend to kill himself and saying that his suicide would not cause his parents emotional distress, according to court documents obtained by PEOPLE.
Michelle Carter, now 18, is charged with involuntary manslaughter in last June’s suicide of Conrad Roy III, 18. Roy died of carbon monoxide poisoning from a gas-powered water pump that was running inside his vehicle. The text messages were released in a response by the Bristol County District Attorney’s office to a motion filed by Carter’s lawyer to dismiss the charges.
According to the documents, Carter, who faces 20 years in prison, sent messages to Roy saying, “You just have to do it,” “Tonight is the night,” and “It’s painless and quick.”
When Roy expressed hesitancy about killing himself, Carter allegedly texted, “You always say you’re gonna do it, but you never do. I just want to make sure tonight is the real thing.”
Carter allegedly said his parents would be able to “move on” from Roy’s suicide: “I think your parents know you’re in a really bad place. I’m not saying they want you to do it but I honestly feel like they can accept it,” she allegedly texted.
According to the documents, Carter helped Rod devise a plan to commit suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning. “You lose consciousness with no pain. You just fall asleep and die,” she allegedly texted.
In the texts, Carter allegedly calls Roy “the love of my life, my boyfriend. You are my heart. I’d never leave you.”
When Roy texts that he’s ready to go through with the plan to kill himself, Carter texts, “Good because it’s time, babe. You know that. When you get back from the beach you’ve gotta go do it. You’re ready. You’re determined. It’s the best time to do it.”
According to the documents, Carter and Roy were allegedly on the phone for more than an hour while she encouraged him to stay in the vehicle as the carbon monoxide began to run.
Afterward, she allegedly texted another friend, “His death is is my fault. Like, I honestly could have stopped it. I was the one on the phone with him and he got out of the car because [the carbon monoxide] was working and I [expletive] told him to get back in.”
Lawyer: Carter was ‘Brainwashed’
Last Monday, Carter’s lawyer told reporters that prosecutors should dismiss the charges on the grounds that Carter was “brainwashed” into her actions, according to a report by the Standard-Times.
The lawyer, Joseph P. Cataldo, said that Carter had initially tried to help Roy, but that Roy “ultimately persuaded a young, impressionable girl” into what Cataldo termed a “Romeo-and-Juliet-style death pact.”
“Eventually he gets her to endorse his plan,” Cataldo said.
Cataldo said that Carter had initially tried to persuade Roy to join her in a mental health facility where she herself was undergoing treatment, according to Fox 6.
“The government is harping, if you will, on her saying, ‘When are you going to do it? When are you going to do it?’ ” Cataldo said. “What they are not harping on are all the times she said, ‘Don’t do it, don’t do it.’ ”
Prosecutor Katie Rayburn said Carter knew what she was doing was wrong and that she allegedly asked Roy to delete her texts.
Cataldo also said that the text messages are protected as free speech, saying, “Michelle Carter’s only role in this is words.”
Judge Bettina Borders took the motion under advisement and scheduled the case for Oct. 2 in New Bedford Juvenile Court.