The involuntary manslaughter trial of Michelle Carter, accused of urging her boyfriend Conrad Roy III to commit suicide on July 12, 2014, hinges on a series of text messages she sent the Massachusetts teenager in the days before his death.
Prosecutors argue the texts, which investigators extracted from Roy’s phone after he killed himself by carbon monoxide poisoning, prove that Carter’s badgering caused his death. Carter’s attorney has countered that he was already intent on suicide and that she had actually urged him to seek help.
Here are some of the messages, as outlined in court documents.
June 19, 2014
Here, Carter urges Roy to seek medical help for his suicidal thoughts.
Carter: “But the mental hospital would help you. I know you don’t think it would but I’m telling you, if you give them a chance, they can save your life”
Carter: “Part of me wants you to try something and fail just so you can go get help”
Roy: “It doesn’t help. Trust me”
Carter: “So what are you gonna do then? Keep being all talk and no action and everyday go thru saying how badly you wanna kill yourself? Or are you gonna try to get better?”
Roy: “I can’t get better I already made my decision.”
June 23, 2014
In this exchange, Carter discourages Roy from harming himself.
Carter: “How do you want to harm yourself”
Roy: “Something idkk yet”
Carter: “Please don’t”
Roy: “I hate myself I’ll always hate myself, I’m never gonna view myself as good I’m so far behind”
Carter: “What is harming yourself gonna do!? Nothing! It will make it worse!”
Roy: “Make the pain go away like you said”
Carter: “It will make the pain go away temporarily, but when you’re done, you’ll just regret it and feel even worse!”
July 7, 2014
Here, Carter tells Roy how she would handle his situation.
Roy: ” If you were in my position. honestly what would you do”
Carter: “I would get help. That’s just me tho. When I have a serious problem like that my first instinct is to get help because I know I can’t do it on my own”
Later that day, however, Carter and Roy discuss the best way for him to produce carbon monoxide (CO).
Carter: “Well there’s more ways to make CO. Google ways to make it. . . ”
Roy: “portable generator that’s it”
July 8, 2014
The next day Roy seems less resolute.
Carter: “So are you sure you don’t wanna [kill yourself] tonight?”
Roy: “What do you mean am I sure?”
Carter: “Like, are you definitely not doing it tonight?”
Roy: “Idk yet I’ll let you know”
Carter: “Because I’ll stay up with you if you wanna do
Roy: ” Another day wouldn’t hurt”
Carter: “You can’t keep pushing it off, tho, that’s all you keep doing”
July 11, 2014
On this day Carter sends Roy her opinion about using a generator in the truck, as opposed to a water pump.
Carter: “…Well in my opinion, I think u should do the generator because I don’t know much
about the pump and with a generator u can’t fail”
July 4-12, 2014
This series of messages was sent over a span of nine days. The —- indicates a pause between conversations.
Carter: “You’re gonna have to prove me wrong because I just don’t think you really want this. You just keeps pushing it off to another night and say you’ll do it but you never do”
Carter: “SEE THAT’S WHAT I MEAN. YOU KEEP PUSHING IT OFF! You just said you were gonna do it tonight and now you’re saying eventually. . . .”
Carter: “But I bet you’re gonna be like ‘oh, it didn’t work because I didn’t tape the tube right or something like that’ . . . I bet you’re gonna say an excuse like that”
Carter: “Do you have the generator?”
Roy: “not yet lol”
Carter: “WELL WHEN ARE YOU GETTING IT”
Carter: “You better not be bull sh*ting me and saying you’re gonna do this and then purposely get caught”
July 11-12, 2014
Overnight and into the next morning, Roy shares concerns over how his parents would handle his suicide.
Roy: “I’m just to sensitive. I want my family to know there was nothing they could do. I am entrapped in my own thoughts”
Roy: “like no I would be happy if they had no guilt about it. because I have a bad feeling tht this is going to create a lot of depression between my parents/sisters”
Roy: “i’m overthinking everything. . f**k. I gotta stop and just do it”
Carter: “I think your parents know you’re in a really bad place. Im not saying they want you to do it, but I honestly feel like they can accept it. They know there’s nothing they can do, they’ve tried helping, everyone’s tried. But there’s a point that comes where there isn’t anything anyone can do to save you, not even yourself, and you’ve hit that point and I think your parents know you’ve hit that point. You said you’re mom saw a suicide thing on your computer and she didn’t say anything. I think she knows it’s on your mind and she’s prepared for it”
Carter: Everyone will be sad for a while, but they will get over it and move on. They won’t be in depression I won’t let that happen. They know how sad you are and they know that you’re doing this to be happy, and I think they will understand and accept it. They’ll always carry u in their hearts”
Roy: “i don’t want anyone hurt in the process though”
Roy: “I meant when they open the door, all the carbon monoxide is gonna come out they can’t see it or smell it. whoever opens the door”
Carter: “They will see the generator and know that you died of CO. . . .”
Roy: “hey can you do me a favor”
Carter: “Yes of course”
Roy: “just be there for my family :)”
Carter: “Conrad, of course I will be there for your family. I will help them as much as I can to get thru this, ill tell them about how amazing their son/brother truly was”
Roy: “Idk I’m freaking out again”
Roy: I’m overthinking”
Carter: “I thought you wanted to do this. The time is right and you’re ready, you just need to do it! You can’t keep living this way. You just need to do it like you did last time and not think about it and just do it babe. You can’t keep doing this every day”
Roy: “I do want to. but like I’m freaking for my family. I guess”
Carter: “Conrad. I told you I’ll take care of them. Everyone will take care of them to make sure they won’t be alone and people will help them get thru it. We talked about this, they will be okay and accept it. People who commit suicide don’t think this much and they just do it”
July 12, 2014
In these exchanges on the day before his body was found, Roy expresses more hesitation about his plan.
Carter: “So I guess you aren’t gonna do it then, all that for nothing”
Carter: “I’m just confused like you were so ready and determined”
Roy: “I am gonna eventually”
Roy: “I really don’t know what I’m waiting for. . but I have everything lined up”
Carter: “No, you’re not, Conrad. Last night was it. You keep pushing it off and you say you’ll do it but u never do. Its always gonna be that way if u don’t take action”
Carter: “You’re just making it harder on yourself by pushing it off, you just have to do it”
Carter: “Do u wanna do it now?”
Roy: “Is it too late?”
Roy: “Idkk it’s already light outside”
Roy: I’m gonna go back to sleep, love you I’ll text you tomorrow”
Carter: “No? Its probably the best time now because everyone’s sleeping. Just go somewhere in your truck. And no one’s really out right now because it’s an awkward time”
Carter: “If u don’t do it now you’re never gonna do it”
Carter: “And u can say you’ll do it tomorrow but you probably won’t”
Carter: “You just need to do it Conrad or I’m gonna get you help”
Carter: “You can’t keep doing this everyday”
Roy: “Okay I’m gonna do it today”
Carter: “Do you promise”
Roy: “I promise babe”
Roy: “I have to now”
Carter: “Like right now?”
Roy: “where do I go? :(”
Carter: “And u can’t break a promise. And just go in a quiet parking lot or something.”