A Massachusetts judge has ordered Michelle Carter to serve 15 months in prison after persuading her boyfriend to kill himself in 2014.
Carter was reportedly convicted of involuntary manslaughter in August 2017 after text messages revealed she urged then boyfriend Conrad Roy III to kill himself, which resulted in his suicide.
Juvenile Court Judge Lawrence Moniz allowed Carter to remain free while she appealed her conviction. On Monday (Feb. 11) however, deputies led Carter outside of the courtroom for her to begin her sentence.
Carter’s conviction raised concerns about whether one’s words should be held responsible for another person’s actions. Roy’s family, however, is content this part of the legal ordeal is put to bed, but will reportedly pursue a civil claim against Carter. They also hope to launch a fund in his name.
Prosecutors argued that Carter, 17 at the time, listened on the phone while Roy, 18, suffocated from carbon monoxide and failed to notify Roy’s parents are call authorities.
Carter’s legal team argued that despite what she said: “however distasteful to this court, were protected speech.”
“Massachusetts would be the only state to uphold an involuntary manslaughter conviction where an absent defendant, with words alone, encouraged another person to commit suicide,” the attorneys said in their motion.