Texting suicide case: Michelle Carter sentenced to serve at least 15 months

TAUNTON, Mass. — A Massachusetts woman convicted of involuntary manslaughter for urging her boyfriend to commit suicide through a series of text messages was sentenced Thursday.

A judge sentenced Michelle Carter to 2½-years in jail, but ruled she would be eligible for probation after 15 months and suspended the rest of her sentence until 2022. He also sentenced her to five years of probation. Moniz granted a defense motion to stay her sentence, meaning she will not have to go to jail until she exhausts her appeals in Massachusetts. She’s now free on supervised release.

Carter’s attorney, Joseph Cataldo, told reporters he believes Carter will be cleared.

WATCH: “48 Hours:” Death by Text

Carter was 17 in July 2014 when she urged 18-year-old Conrad Roy III to “get back in” a truck filled with toxic carbon monoxide gas parked in a Fairhaven parking lot. Juvenile Court Judge Lawrence Moniz convicted Carter in June after a bench trial, saying her final instruction to Roy to get back in the truck caused his death. 

Michelle Carter awaits her sentencing in a courtroom in Taunton, Mass., Aug. 3, 2017, for involuntary manslaughter for encouraging Conrad Roy III to kill himself in July 2014.

Matt West/The Boston Herald via AP

In dozens of text messages, Carter urged Roy to follow through on his talk of taking his own life.

“The time is right and you are ready … just do it babe,” Carter wrote in a text the day he killed himself.

Prosecutors allege Carter pushed Roy to commit suicide because she was desperate for attention and sympathy from classmates, and wanted to play the role of a grieving girlfriend. Cataldo said Roy was intent on killing himself and took Carter along on his “sad journey.” A psychiatrist testified Carter too was “very troubled” and at first tried to talk Roy out of it, but became convinced she needed to help Roy “get to heaven” only after he convinced her there was nothing she could do to stop him.

Cataldo had asked the judge to spare his client any jail time and instead give her five years of probation and require her to receive mental health counseling. He said Carter was struggling with mental health issues of her own — bulimia, anorexia and depression — during the time she urged Roy to kill himself.

“Miss Carter will have to live with the consequences of this for the rest of her life,” Cataldo said. “This was a horrible circumstance that she completely…

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