Death of Conrad Roy

Landmark involuntary manslaughter case

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Conrad Henri Roy III was an American man who died by suicide at the age of 18 with encouragement from his girlfriend, then-17-year-old Michelle Carter, via text messages. The case was the subject of a notable investigation and involuntary manslaughter trial in Massachusetts, colloquially known as the "texting suicide case". Commonwealth v. Michelle Carter involved scores of text messages, emails, and phone calls recorded between Carter and Roy in the leadup to the latter's death. Roy had seen numerous mental health professionals, and he insisted that he wanted to die. Carter and Roy had both been prescribed psychiatric medication. The case raised complex questions pertaining to the nature and limits of criminal responsibility. Judge Moniz inferred that Carter wanted Roy dead and that her words coerced him to kill himself, a position that has been subject to some criticism. Carter was convicted by the judge of involuntary manslaughter, chiefly on the basis of her final phone call in which she ordered Roy, after he had become scared, to go back inside his truck as it filled with lethal carbon monoxide.


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