Carter was on trial for urging her boyfriend to commit suicide. Despite this week's sentencing, Carter will not be going to prison until all state appeals are exhausted, according to Buzzfeed. Judge Lawrence Moniz granted Carter's defense attorney Joseph Cataldo's request to stay her incarceration until after the appeals process is over in the court system.
The prosecutors had hoped to obtain a seven to 12-year prison sentence. Carter's lawyer requested that the sentence be five years under supervised probation with various conditions such as mental health counseling.
Carter, now 20, was found guilty of encouraging her 18-year-old boyfriend, Conrad Roy, to commit suicide three years ago.
On July 12, 2014, Roy took his own life by inhaling carbon monoxide produced by a pump in his truck.
Roy had a history of mental illness in that he had attempted suicide before doing so three years ago.
According to text messages that she exchanged with her friends, Carter encouraged Roy to "get back in" the vehicle after he got out because he was "scared."
In Judge Moniz's ruling, he did not consider Carter's age, level of maturity, or mental illness to have "any significant impact on her actions."
Moniz did mention that he thought Carter's age "offers a greater chance of rehabilitation."
A part of Carter's probation terms was that she has been ordered not to have any contact with Roy's family. She is also to refrain from contacting her high school friends who testified against her during the trial.
Roy's family places the blame on Carter for their son taking his life.
"How could Michelle Carter behave so viciously to encourage my son to end his life," Conrad Roy Jr. said in court. "Where was her humanity?"
The boy's father said that Carter showed no sign of remorse.
"She exploited my son's weakness and used him as a pawn in her own well-being," Roy's father said. "My son was my best friend."
The prosecutors read a statement from Roy's mother, who was not present at the hearing, to the court.
"I pray a law comes forth so another mother does not have to endure what I am," her statement said. "I still cannot come to terms that another person would want to inflict so much pain on our family."
Cataldo says that his client "regrets what happened." He also claims that Carter had accepted responsibility for her actions. The defense attorney mentioned that Carter was dealing with mental health issues of her own as she had struggled with eating disorders.
"This sad, tragic manslaughter was a very unusual set of circumstances unique to these two individuals who were both struggling with mental health issues themselves," Cataldo said.0comments
In the event that she does serve time behind bars, Carter will likely be in jail for 15 months with the sentence being suspended until Aug. 1, 2022.
Photo Credit: Twitter / @BostonGlobe