TAUNTON, Mass. (WPRI) — Michelle Carter admitted to a friend that she told Conrad Roy to get back in his car during a suicide attempt in 2014, according to a text message revealed in court Wednesday.
The text message is the basis for one of the key arguments by the prosecution that Michelle Carter is responsible for the death of Conrad Roy, who killed himself using carbon monoxide from a generator in a Fairhaven parking lot in July 2014.
The judge took a tour of the parking lot, which is behind a former Kmart, as part of the trial Wednesday afternoon. Flowers lay on the spot where Roy parked his truck that day.
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Carter is charged with involuntary manslaughter, a crime that requires proof that the defendant caused the death of the alleged victim.
Samantha Boardman was one of four young women who testified at Carter’s trial Wednesday morning, reading aloud text messages between herself and Carter that were obtained by the prosecution.
“Sam his death is my fault like honestly, I could have stopped him,” one of Carter’s texts to Boardman said. “I was on the phone with him and he got out of the car because it was working and he got scared and I [expletive] told him to get back in Sam.”
Other text messages from Carter to the women, all of whom were teenagers around the same age as Carter back in 2014, appeared to corroborate the prosecution’s claim that Carter was on the phone with Roy as he sat in his pickup truck that was filling with the deadly gas.
“I heard him dying,” she allegedly texted Alexandra Eithier, another woman who testified.
“I was talking to him on the phone when he killed himself,” she allegedly told Olivia Mosolgo.
When Carter discovered that police had obtained Roy’s phone after his death, she sent a frantic text to Boardman: “They read my text messages to him I’m done,” she said. “His family will hate me and I could go to jail.”
Text messages shown during opening statements on Tuesday detailed how Carter allegedly urged Conrad Roy, 18, to kill himself using a generator and his pickup truck. Prosecutors say Carter repeatedly questioned Roy in the weeks before his death about why he had not done it yet.
Even as Carter sent those messages to Roy, she was texting the friends who testified Wednesday that she was worried about him and was confused about why he had purchased a generator.
Roy’s body was found by police in his truck in a Kmart parking lot in Fairhaven on July 12, 2014 after his family reported him missing.
Roy’s mother Lynn testified on Tuesday that her son spent his last day alive at the beach with family and friends, enjoying chips and guacamole and did not reveal that he was thinking about harming himself.
Carter’s defense attorney, Joseph Cataldo, argued in opening statements that Carter had spent years trying to stop Roy from killing himself, only switching positions on the matter shortly before his death. Cataldo said that represents a “break” in Carter’s behavior. He plans to present testimony from a psychiatrist who has said Carter’s antidepressants caused her to be “involuntarily intoxicated” at the time.
The defense team argues that Roy’s death was a “tragic suicide,” not a homicide.
The trial is being held before Juvenile Court Judge Lawrence Moniz, because Carter waived her right to a jury trial on Monday.