Moments before 18-year-old Conrad Roy was going to kill himself last summer, he had second thoughts and climbed out of his running truck. Then he got a three-word text message from his friend: "get back in."
The message allegedly came from Michelle Carter, who police now say sent Roy a series of texts in the last days of his life encouraging him to commit suicide. Roy apparently listened; police later found him dead from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Prosecutors charged Carter, 18, with involuntary manslaughter this month. In a report, police said that before dying, Roy told Carter "he was scared and didn't want to leave his family," the Sun Chronicle reported.
But police said Carter encouraged Roy to go through with the suicide. She also reportedly texted Roy's mother, expressing concern before he died, South Coast Today reported.
A spokesperson for the Bristol County District Attorney's Office said investigators believe Carter had "first hand knowledge of Roy's suicidal thoughts," the Boston Herald reported.
The DA did not immediately respond to a request from BuzzFeed News for comment.
However, Carter's attorney condemned the charge Friday, telling BuzzFeed News that the district attorney was "cherry picking" the facts and "distorting" the case.
In a conversation Friday evening, Joseph Cataldo said Carter and Roy had a long history together and by publicizing a limited group of text messages the DA had "really cherry picked the facts and put those out there trying to make her look bad."
Cataldo said it was too early in the case to go into detail, but added that the facts would prove that Roy voluntarily committed suicide and his death "was not caused by Michelle Carter."
"We don't have a law in Massachusetts where you have to run to authorities or forcibly prevent a person from committing suicide," Cataldo said. He added that "it will be very, very clear, that he was determined to take his own life."
Whatever happened, after Roy died, Carter began posting a series of messages online mourning him. The first message went up July 13, the same day Roy died.
By September, Carter was tweeting about suicide and apparently participating in a mental health fundraiser called "Homers for Conrad."
As of Friday, her Facebook page still prominently displayed the Homers for Conrad logo:
Detectives said Carter encouraged Roy to kill himself as part of a "plan to get sympathy from her friends," South Coast Today reported.
Days before Roy actually went through with the suicide, Carter was already telling her friends that "it's her fault that Conrad is dead, even though he was still alive and speaking and texting with her regularly," police said.
At one point, she also allegedly texted a friend saying she hadn't found Roy and was "a mess," but an hour later texted Roy himself, saying "let me know when you're gonna do it," according to South Coast Today.
Carter is free on $2,500 bail and has been ordered by a court not to use the internet for anything other than schoolwork. Her next court date is scheduled for April.
Jim Dalrymple is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
Contact Jim Dalrymple II at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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