Michelle Carter not only encouraged suicidal boyfriend to kill himself but also listened to him choke and die
The case of Michelle Carter, a woman who allegedly encouraged her boyfriend to take her own life on the day that he died leads to the question — is Carter a criminal or a victim?
A new HBO documentary titled 'I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth V. Michelle Carter' will be looking into all aspects of the controversial question. The director of the project, Erin Lee Carr, shared, "There was this very simple story put forth that Michelle Carter was this good-looking ice queen that set about to kill a young man to become popular. I knew that that wasn't going to be correct, but it would ultimately be the narrative that was set forth by the prosecution," according to a report by Daily Mail.
The case which was put forth by the prosecution will be the focus of the first part of the documentary while part two will look at Carter's defense and also show some lesser known facts about her. Carter was sentenced to 30 months in prison after a judge found her guilty of involuntary manslaughter after a bench trial. The sentence was then cut in half on account of time served meaning that Carter will be released within a year.
The state's Supreme Judicial Court agreed with a lower court judge who found that Carter caused Roy's death when she told him to "get back in" his truck that was filling with toxic gas after he told her he was scared. The judge said Carter had a duty to call the police or Roy's family when she knew he was killing himself.
"And then after she convinced him to get back into the carbon monoxide filled truck, she did absolutely nothing to help him: she did not call for help or tell him to get out of the truck as she listened to him choke and die," Justice Scott Kafker wrote in the Supreme Judicial Court's ruling.
The most damming piece of evidence against Carter who was 17 when Roy took his own life, was her text to him telling him to get back inside his vehicle. He had tried to commit suicide by poisoning himself in his car with carbon monoxide. He had backed out but gone back in when he reportedly got the text from Carter.
Prosecutors had argued Carter could have stopped Roy from killing himself, but instead bullied him into going through with his plan through text messages that became more insistent as he delayed.
"I thought you wanted to do this. The time is right and you're ready — just do it babe," she wrote. "You're finally going to be happy in heaven. No more pain. It's okay to be scared and it's normal. I mean, you're about to die," Carter wrote in another message.
According to Carr though, this evidence has some major flaws and he said, "Michelle Carter has a lot of issues with deception, with lying for attention," according to the Associated Press. "How are we to trust that one sentence that it actually happened?"
Roy had taken his own life after years of personal struggles which cannot be attributed to Carter and the defense had written its appeal that Roy would have taken his life regardless of Carter. "Roy's extensive troubles included the divorce of his parents, violent abuse by his father that, at times, required emergency medical attention, severe anxiety and depression, hospitalizations for depression and suicidal ideation, chronic difficulties at school, including dropping out for part of one year, his sudden decision not to pursue college and drug use," the appeal stated.
"Most importantly, long before Carter did anything that could be construed as encouraging Roy to commit suicide, Roy suffered persistent suicidal ideation and repeatedly attempted to kill himself," it continued. Roy, a marine salvage captain, was just 18-years-old when he decided to take the drastic step of ending his life on July 13, 2014, by poisoning himself with carbon monoxide fumes in his truck at a Kmart parking lot in Fairhaven.
When detectives started to look into the case, they found that he was in a long distance relationship and had exchanged many text messages, emails, and phone calls with Roy where Carter had pushed him to take his own life.