20-year-old Michelle Carter is facing trial for allegedly causing her boyfriend, 18-year-old Conrad Roy III, to take his own life. On Tuesday, the prosecution accused Carter of pushing Roy to take his own life in a deranged attempt to get more attention from her family and friends.
In her opening statement, Maryclare Flynn insisted that Carter had played a “sick game” with the life of her deceased boyfriend by sending him a flurry of text messages and calls encouraging him to kill himself. The incident took place in 2014, when Roy was sitting in his pickup truck as it filled with carbon monoxide.
At one point, when Roy attempted to exit the pickup truck, Carter told him to “get back in,” effectively encouraging him to die. Instead of calling emergency services or Roy’s parents, Flynn insisted, Carter let him die so that she could assume the role of a “grieving girlfriend.”
However, defense attorney Joseph Cataldo painted Roy as deeply depressed in the wake of his parents’ divorce and his physical and verbal abuse at the hand of other family members. He claimed that Roy was already suicidal when he met Carter in 2012 and had even researched suicide methods online.
“Conrad Roy was on this path to take his on life for years,” Cataldo said. “It was Conrad Roy’s idea to take his own life, it was not Michelle Carter’s idea. This was a suicide, a sad and tragic suicide, but not a homicide.”
Carter and Roy first met in Florida in 2012 and mostly carried out their relationship through phone calls and text messages. Even though they both lived in southeastern Massachusetts, Cataldo noted, they only saw each other in person a handful of times.
The case against Carter will play out in juvenile court because she was 17 years old when the incident took place. However, she will be subject to adult punishment if convicted.