That was just over three years ago, a span of time itself a little longer than the 2.5 year sentence Carter was handed today by the Bristol County Juvenile Court. He also imposed extensive probation terms.
According to a Massachusetts Juvenile Court Judge Lawrence Moniz, Michelle Carter had asked her boyfriend Conrad Roy III to get inside a truck filled with toxic gas, which he obeyed causing his death.
Carter's attorneys have not yet said if they plan to appeal the verdict, but legal experts said it could be vulnerable given its groundbreaking nature.
"What can be more serious than the death of an 18 year old boy?!" said the prosecuting attorney Thursday. He's asking for probation and continued counseling. He added that the court needed to strike a balance between punishing Carter for her actions and rehabilitation. "I ask of you to invoke leniency in your decision-making process for my loving child Michelle".
Prosecutors today asked for not less than seven and no more than 12 years incarceration. He said Carter regretted what had happened and was in the grip of her own mental illness at the time when these two young, troubled lives came together. A controversial psychiatrist testified that Carter was "involuntary intoxicated" on antidepressants before Roy's suicide, which led her to become "grandiose" and "delusional". You said you were gonna do it.
At the trial, prosecutors showed the court numerous text messages between Carter and Roy to prove that she pressured Roy to kill himself, instructed him as to when and how to do it, assuaged his concerns over killing himself, and chastised him when he delayed doing so.
"I was on the phone with him and he got out of the vehicle because it was working and he got scared and I f***ing told him to get back in Sam", she sent in a text message to her friend Samantha Boardman, who testified for the prosecution during the trial.More news: North Korea ICBM Failed, But US Still Hypes Threat
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Carter had a bench trial, meaning Moniz heard the case and decided whether or not Carter was guilty - not a jury.
Carter was 17 when Roy died in 2014.
"Sam, [the police] read my messages with him I'm done", Carter wrote to a friend after she learned police had obtained Roy's phone.
But Gertner said the First Amendment implications are complex, and speech in the United States is not protected in all situations.
The American Civil Liberties Union of MA, which argued against Carter's prosecution, said there is no criminal statute against encouraging someone to kill themselves.
"This conviction exceeds the limits of our criminal laws and violates free speech protections guaranteed by the MA and U.S. Constitutions".
"It got to the point that he was apologizing to her, ... apologizing to her for not being dead yet", Rayburn said in her closing argument. Now a virtual presence is enough.