Some online posters reacted with outrage Thursday after a judge sentenced Michelle Carter to 15 months in jail for encouraging her boyfriend to kill himself.
Carter’s attorney recommended five years of supervised probation with mental health counseling.
And Lynn Roy, in a statement read by a prosecutor, said she prays that her son’s death “will save lives some day”, voicing her support for a state law making it a crime to coerce or encourage suicide.
Carter texted things like “just do it babe”, “I don’t get why you aren’t”, and – in a moment the judge emphasized in his conviction – “get back in”, when Roy climbed out of his truck and said he was afraid.
Roy’s sister, father and mother presented victim impact statements to the judge before the sentencing, describing the pain of their loss and the impact it has had on the family.
The judge granted Carter a stay of her sentence during the appeals process, meaning she won’t report to prison until all her state appeals are exhausted.
According to Independent.ie, the verdict has not yet been decided and it is unclear whether she will get a lesser sentence than 20 years.
The prosecution split the difference and asked for 7 to 12 years. He had tried to kill himself before, Carter’s attorney said.
Prior to Thursday’s sentencing, many legal experts had weighed in on the likelihood of Carter facing prison time versus probation.
Roy had a history of mental illness in that he had attempted suicide before doing so three years ago. “I mean, you’re about to die”. “She has not shown any remorse”.
In his explanation, the judge reminded parties that the case was in a juvenile court and the court had a responsibility to balance rehabilitation and punishment for the juvenile. “I just want to make sure tonight is the real thing”, “You just have to do it” and “It’s painless and quick”. “I pray that his death will save lives some day”, she added. Joseph Cataldo, her defense lawyer, declined to provide a comment to BuzzFeed News before the sentencing. “It’s always gonna be that way if you don’t take action”.
“This court finds that instructing Mr. Roy to get back in the truck constituted wanton and reckless conduct by Ms. Carter, creating a situation where there is a high degree of likelihood a high degree of harm would result to Mr. Roy”, Moniz said while reading the verdict in June.
In June, a MA judge found Carter, now 20, guilty of involuntary manslaughter, claiming she was “reckless” in the incident. The Taunton County judge focused his ruling on Carter telling Roy to “get back in” after he climbed out of his truck as it was filling with carbon monoxide. Carter stared off somewhere else, weeping, seeming to know she was bound for the inside of a prison cell. Roy and Carter had both previously experienced suicidal thoughts and had discussed committing the act together.
In a June interview with “48 Hours”, Lynn Roy said she doesn’t believe Carter “has a conscience”.