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Parole Board Rejects Michelle Carter’s Request For Early Release, Citing ‘Self-Serving Statements And Behavior’

A parole board said they remain "troubled" that Michelle Carter encouraged Conrad Roy III to kill himself and, even more so, that she "actively prevented others" from helping him.


By Gina Tron
The Michelle Carter Case Explained

A parole board has decided not to release Michelle Carter, who infamously prodded her boyfriend to commit suicide over texts when they were teens, from prison early.

Carter, now 22, has served seven months of her 15-month sentence at the Bristol County House of Correction in Dartmouth, Massachusetts for involuntary manslaughter in Conrad Roy III's 2014 death. She appeared before a parole board behind closed doors this week to request an early release.

"The [board] is troubled that Ms. Carter not only encouraged [Conrad Roy III] to take his own life, she actively prevented others from intervening in his suicide," the parole board wrote in its decision, which was released on Friday morning, NBC News reports. "Ms. Carter's self-serving statements and behavior, leading up to and after his suicide, appear to be irrational and lacked sincerity."

They added that Carter should address the "causative effects" that led to her incarceration.

"Release does not meet the legal standard," the board wrote.

Even though she will not be released on parole, she still stands to be released a bit early. Jonathan Darling, a spokesman for the Bristol County House of Detention, said that she has already earned two months off for good behavior.

“She has been attending programs and classes inside the jail, and she has a job inside the jail,” he told the New York Post. “She’s earned almost two months good time off. Her original date was in May, and now I believe as of this morning she has earned enough that she could get out in the middle of March.”

Carter was convicted in 2017 in her boyfriend's death. Roy was found dead at age 18 after let his truck fill with carbon monoxide in a parking lot. After his death, a trail of text messages revealed that Carter, then 17, was relentless in her pro-suicide texts to him. The prosecution in her trial argued that getting attention from girls at school who often ignored her may have been a motive for her to push Roy to go through with his suicide. The prosecution described her as a needy, desperate person who knew she would get attention if she were the girlfriend of someone who died.

Carter’s lawyers have been trying to appeal her conviction, claiming it violated both her First Amendment right to free speech and her Fifth Amendment right to due process. Her lawyers want to bring the case to the Supreme Court, where they hope her conviction will be reviewed and vacated. In a petition filed over the summer, Carter’s defense wrote, “Michelle Carter’s conviction for involuntary manslaughter in connection with Conrad Roy III’s suicide is unprecedented.” 

Earlier this year, state lawmakers proposed a new law in Massachusetts called"Conrad's Law," which would make what Carter did, encouraging someone to commit or try to commit suicide, punishable by up to five years.

HBO aired "I Love You, Now Die," a documentary directed by Erin Lee Carr that chronicled the controversial case and put a fresh spotlight on it, earlier this year.