TAUNTON — Shortly after her former classmates testified how Michelle Carter texted them about being on the phone with her boyfriend Conrad Roy III when he died, Carter went to the Kmart parking lot in Fairhaven Wednesday where he took his own life.
Carter, 20, accompanied her lawyers, prosecutors and the judge on the third day of her manslaughter trial to the parking lot where Roy, 18, of Mattapoisett was found dead in his pickup truck in July 2014.
A small memorial of flowers, a rock with the word Conrad inside a heart, a candle and other mementos, now marks the parking area where Roy was found. He died of carbon monoxide poisoning, allegedly after Carter pressured him to kill himself. Carter denies the allegations.
Lawyers for both sides pointed out lighting and other stores around the plaza to the judge as Carter listened. The Kmart is now closed.
In Taunton Juvenile Court, three former classmates of Carter at King Philip Regional High School and one who met Carter at summer camp all testified how Carter texted them to say she was on the phone with Roy when he died.
One former classmate, Samantha Boardman, now 20, testified Carter sent her a text about a week after Roy killed himself in which she feared police finding text messages she sent to Roy.
“I just got off the phone with Conrad’s mom about 20 minutes ago and she told me that detectives had to come and go through his things and stuff. It’s something they have to do with suicides and homicides,” Carter texted Boardman.
“And she said they have to go through his phone and see if anyone encouraged him to do it on texts and stuff. Sam, they read my messages with him I’m done. His family will hate me and I could go to jail,” Carter texted.
Unlike the other classmates who said they did not know Carter well, Boardman explained that she texted Carter about food and gave her advice because both shared eating issues. Boardman even once slept over Carter’s house in Plainville with other friends.
Ali Eithier, 20, who knew Carter as a volunteer at summer camp, said Carter started texting her in June 2014 after getting her number through a group text. Texts from Carter quickly turned to issues about her boyfriend going through a “tough time.”
A month later, when Carter texted about how she was on the phone with Roy and “heard him die,” Eithier texted Carter that she couldn’t help her. “I don’t know you very well,” Eithier texted to Carter.
Olivia Mosolgo, 20, had known Carter since seventh grade and from playing softball as they got older but their relationship changed around 2013 or 2014. Mosolgo testified she went to Carter’s house after Roy’s suicide to comfort her but did not normally visit Carter’s house.
Alexandra Eblan, 20, who knew Carter from school, testified she went on the sleepover at Carter’s house with Boardman but did not normally socialize with her outside of school.
Carter would often text her about her personal problems. Carter told her she was “cutting,” but Eblan said she never saw any wounds.
In testimony that supported the prosecution, the women testified Carter complained in texts about not having any friends and blamed herself for not preventing Roy from killing himself. Three of the women attended the Homers for Conrad fundraiser Carter organized two months after Roy’s death.
Prosecutors admitted photographs of the event as evidence to support their argument that Carter was a needy, attention seeker who badgered her boyfriend to commit suicide to garner sympathy.
Fairhaven Detective Scott Gordon testified how he initiated the investigation into the circumstances around Roy’s suicide when he saw texts from Carter on Roy’s phone that Gordon said showed she encouraged Roy to kill himself.
“I decided to get to the bottom of it,” Gordon testified.
During cross-examination, Carter’s lead attorney, Joseph Cataldo, suggested police never investigated a break-in into Roy’s truck the day after his death or secured the water pump he used to kill himself. He also suggested police never looked into websites Roy visited to learn about committing suicide.