Michelle Carter, the Massachusetts woman convicted for encouraging boyfriend Conrad Roy III to kill himself, was released from Bristol County Jail on Thursday. Carter, 23, was released early after almost a year behind bars, three months before her sentence was over, due to good behavior. Roy took his own life in July 2014 at age 18 after Carter, then 17, repeatedly influenced him to commit suicide.
Carter was picked up by her parents outside the county jail, reports NBC News. She wore a black turtleneck, light-colored blazer and black pants. Jail officials were seen carrying two big plastic bags with her belongings. Her parents offered no comment.
Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson told WBZ and other reporters that Carter was a "model inmate." She was released early because she had enough "good time" credits and completed programs while in jail.
"The US Supreme Court decision not to hear the appeal and her release today brings closure. It's been a painfully long 6 years and we are ready to move on," Roy's family said in a statement Thursday. "While we are disappointed that she was not required to serve her full sentence it doesn't change that Conrad is forever gone. We will continue to remember him and honor him. We will also continue raise awareness for suicide prevention in the hopes that no other family has to face this kind of pain."
In a separate statement, Roy's mother, Lynn, said she will "continue to honor my son every day, keeping his memory and spirit in my memory, and to find ways to help others who may be experiencing what I have experienced." She also thanked everyone who supported the family in the past five years.
Roy died in July 2014 by filling his truck with poisonous fumes. Three years later, Carter was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to 15 months and five years of probation. However, she did not report to jail until February, after the Massachusetts Supreme Court denied her appeal.
Carter appealed her case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to hear the appeal on Jan. 13.
Carter was convicted in a bench trial, where a judge decided her case. During the trial, evidence showed she sent several text messages to Roy, who had attempted suicide multiple times before. The texts showed she encouraged him to take his own life and talked with him on the phone twice the day he died. A friend said Carter claimed Roy climbed out of the truck, but she told him to go back in. She did not call 911, a decision the judge said played a major role in her conviction.0comments
The case is the subject of HBO's I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth vs. Michelle Carter. Massachusetts lawmakers have also proposed "Conrad's Law," which would make it a crime to "intentionally" coerce or encourage a suicide or suicide attempt. The Roy family has supported taking the law to the federal level as well.
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