PLAINVILLE — Michelle Carter, the local woman serving a jail sentence for urging her boyfriend to kill himself in a series of text messages and phone calls, has been denied early release from jail.
The state Parole Board announced Friday it has rejected Carter’s bid for release after serving about half her 15-month jail sentence. The board said Carter, 23, “needs to further address” the factors that led to her actions.
Carter was convicted in 2017 of involuntary manslaughter in the 2014 death of 18-year-old Conrad Roy III. Carter, who was 17 at the time of Roy’s suicide, began her sentence in February after the state Supreme Judicial Court unanimously upheld her conviction.
Taunton Juvenile Judge Lawrence Moniz found Carter was responsible for Roy’s death because she urged him to continue with his suicide plan in a phone call. Roy was breathing toxic fumes from a gas-powered water pump in his pickup truck and got out at one point, but Carter urged him to get back inside, the judge said.
In its decision, the parole board said it “is troubled that Ms. Carter not only encouraged Mr. (Roy) to take his own life, she actively prevented others from intervening in his suicide. Ms. Carter’s self-serving statements and behavior, leading up to and after his suicide, appear to be irrational and lacked sincerity.”
Carter’s attorneys declined to comment Friday. They’ve appealed her conviction to the U.S. Supreme Court.
A lawyer for Roy’s family didn’t respond to an email.
Gregg Miliote, a spokesman for the Bristol County district attorney’s office, noted the prosecution recommended a more severe sentence of seven to 12 years in prison after Carter was convicted “due to the egregious nature of the crime and the defendant’s refusal to acknowledge the gravity of the crime she committed.”
“It’s unfortunate that in the five years since Conrad’s death, the Parole Board found she still does not have sufficient insight into her crime and lacks empathy. As always, our concern is for the Roy family and the public’s safety,” Miliote said.
Moniz sentenced Carter to serve 15 months of a 2 1/2-year jail sentence with the balance suspended with probation.
While she has been in jail, Carter has been a model inmate, according to the Bristol County Sheriff’s office.