Michelle Carter, the 22-year-old woman accused of encouraging her boyfriend to commit suicide, will leave jail almost two months early, despite being denied parole last week.
Carter, who is currently serving a 15-month sentence, has earned “good time” that will move her release date up to March 13 instead of May 5, according to CNN. Jonathan Darling, a spokesman for Bristol County Sheriff’s Office, told CNN that inmates can earn up to 10 days a month for “working at the jail and attending educational and other programs.”
Though Carter is set to leave prison early, her official appeal for parole was denied last Friday by the Massachusetts Parole Board.
“The [Board] is troubled that Ms. Carter not only encouraged Mr. Conrad to take his own life, she actively prevented others from intervening in his suicide,’’ the board’s decision states. “Ms. Carter’s self-serving statements and behavior, leading up to and after his suicide, appear to be irrational and lacked sincerity. Ms. Carter needs to further address her causative factors that led to the governing offense. Release does not meet the legal standard.”
One board member, who was not identified, wrote: “Given subject’s behavior in facilitating victim’s death, release not compatible w[ith] best interest of society. Did not provide sufficient insight into reason for lack of empathy at time of crime and surrounding time period.”
Carter Urged Her Boyfriend, Conrad Roy III, to Kill Himself in 2014, According to Prosecutors
On July 13, 2014, Carter, then only 17 years old, urged her 18-year-old boyfriend Conrad Roy III to commit suicide, according to the allegations made against her.
That night, Carter was on the phone with Roy as he sat in his pickup truck in a Kmart parking lot in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. At one point, the prosecution said, Roy said he was getting out of the truck, but Carter told him to get back in. He died of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Roy had attempted suicide several times before his death in 2014, and he and Carter had repeated text conversations about the subject, according to Esquire.
“You just need to do it Conrad or I’m gonna get you help,” Carter texted the day before Roy’s suicide, Equire reported.
“I’m gonna do it today,” Roy responded.
The messages continued: “Do you promise.”
“I promise babe. Where do I go?”
“You can’t break a promise. Go in a quiet parking lot.”
In 2017, Carter was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and given 15 months in prison. The state Supreme Judicial Court later upheld her conviction.
Carter’s Case is the Focus of a Recent HBO Documentary
A new HBO documentary about the case, called “I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth v. Michelle Carter,” was released this July.
In the film, defense attorney Joseph Cataldo says: “The focus became Michelle, and not Conrad — did he really want to die? And so they shied away from the root causes of why Conrad Roy killed himself.”
Carter had various problems of her own, Esquire wrote. In June 2014, she was treated for anorexia at McLean Hospital and even urged Roy to get help at the time. Carter told Roy that getting professional help “would be so good for you and we would get thru our issues together. Think about it. You aren’t gonna get better on your own, you know it no matter how many times you tell yourself you are.”
Some of Roy’s Family Members Have Argued Carter Should Serve Her Full Sentence
Members of Roy’s family attended Carter’s parole hearing last Thursday, according to USA Today.
The Boston Globe also reported that Roy’s aunt, Becki Maki, said in a statement that Carter still belongs in prison.
“Two members of our family addressed the Parole Board yesterday and asked for them to deny Michelle’s petition for parole,” Maki said. “We continue to feel that she should serve out the remainder of her jail sentence.”
Defense attorney Cataldo, though, told the Globe that the parole board’s decision was based on the “incorrect and dangerous prior legal ruling” of the Supreme Judicial Court.
“To that end, we have filed an appeal to the United States Supreme Court,” he said.