It’s a parent’s greatest fear. Your baby, now a teenage boy who is taller than you, succumbs to his depression. He believes he has nothing left to live for. He sees no reason to go on and live another day and see all the beauty his future has in store. And he takes his own life. And then you find out someone else encouraged him to die. Someone else said, “Kill yourself.” This is the tragic reality for the family of Conrad Roy III.
Roy took his life via carbon monoxide poisoning in July of 2014. But just yesterday, Michelle Carter, his girlfriend at the time, was sentenced to 15 months in prison for her role in his death.
As a parent, my head is spinning. There are so many layers to this story. So many lessons to be learned. So many ways to look at who is at fault. Who should be punished. And how much and in what way.
Evidence presented at trial showed that Conrad had suffered from mental illness for a long time and had attempted suicide before. However, text messages between Conrad and Michelle reveal that she was encouraging him to complete the final act. But not at first.
Initially, Carter spoke with a different tune, saying things like “But the mental hospital would help you. I know you don’t think it would but I’m telling you, if you give them a chance, they can save your life” and “Please don’t…What is harming yourself gonna do!? Nothing! It will make it worse!”