Breaking: Michelle Carter Sentenced to 2.5 Years in Prison in Texting Suicide Case

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Attorney Joseph Cataldo talks to his client, Michelle Carter, before meeting at a side bar at the beginning of the court session at Taunton Juvenile Court in Taunton, Mass., on Monday, June 5, 2017. Carter is charged with manslaughter for sending her boyfriend text messages encouraging him to kill himself. (Faith Ninivaggi/The Boston Herald via AP, Pool)

20-year-old Michelle Carter has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison after being convicted of involuntary manslaughter earlier this year.

On June 16, a Massachusetts judge convicted Carter of involuntary manslaughter for encouraging her boyfriend Conrad Roy III to kill himself when they were both were 17.

Investigators discovered over 1,000 text messages between Carter and Roy that were sent in the week prior to Roy’s death. In those text messages, Carter often encouraged Roy to commit suicide.

In the text messages, Carter stated: “You always say you’re gonna do it, but you never do. I just want to make sure tonight is the real thing,” “You just have to do it” and “It’s painless and quick.”

However, Carter’s Attorney Joseph Cataldo argued that it was Conrad Roy who caused his own death and that his client was “dragged” into the situation at a time when she was young and troubled.

“The evidence actually established that Conrad Roy caused his own death by his physical actions and by his own thoughts,” defense attorney Joseph Cataldo said. “You’re dealing with an individual who wanted to take his own life. … He dragged Michelle Carter into this.”

Ultimately, prosecutors were able to convince the judge that Carter’s actions played a role in Roy’s death. They claimed she berated her vulnerable boyfriend when he was having second thoughts about killing himself. They also claim she listened on the phone as he died and failed to call for emergency services.

Even with the judge’s decision to convict Carter, prosecutor Katie Rayburn said there were “no winners” in a case like this, which concluded with two families torn apart, emotionally drained and affected for years.

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