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The trial of a Plainville woman

accused of encouraging her friend to kill himself

through text messages is now underway.

NEWS ANCHOR: Michelle Carter is on trial for manslaughter

to decide if text messages she sent

crossed a legal line

and whether she should be held responsible

for her boyfriend's decision to take his own life.

MARYCLARE FLYNN: "His death was my fault.

I could have stopped him.

I was on the phone with him,

and he got out of the car because it was working.

He got scared,

and I fucking told him to get back in."

The defendant's own words.

Seventeen-year-old Michelle Carter,

who, for weeks, badgered-- berated--

her depressed boyfriend Conrad Roy, 18 years old,

into killing himself.

And on July 12, 2014,

as his truck was filling with carbon monoxide,

he was scared.

He got out.

It was the defendant,

on the other end of the phone, who ordered him back in,

then listened for 20 minutes

as he cried in pain,

took his last breaths, and died.

She assisted and devised and advised

and planned his suicide.

She reasoned him out of his reservations.

She told him that once he was dead,

he would be free and happy.

She pushed him to kill himself sooner rather than later.

And she used Conrad as a pawn in her sick game of life and death.


I fall

I fall

Deeper than ever

I call

I call

Baby, come find me

I fall

I fall

Deeper than ever

I call

I call

Baby, come find me

Baby, come find me

Baby, come find me



POLICE DISPATCHER: 818 to all cars in station....


LYNN ROY: He never was the type of kid

to not ever come home.


I knew that morning that there was something...


And I felt this rush go through my body

that I've never felt in my life.

And I felt like he just passed through me.

I've never felt that feeling in my life.

It was just, like, the most chilling feeling.


POLICE OFFICER: Stand by. I'm looking for it.

-I have it in here somewhere. -(RADIO BEEPS)

We were sitting on the porch right here,

and, um...

a friend of the family...

called my dad and... (SNIFFLES)

told him that his truck had, uh, caution tape around it

at the, uh, Fairhaven K-Mart.

And we, uh, got in the car and drove over there.



CAROLYN MCGONAGLE: We pulled into the K-Mart parking lot

and you saw the truck and you saw the yellow tape.

And he just put it in park,

he's like, "I can't go up there."

Conrad Sr. was driving back out,

and he pulled up next to Co,

and he just said, "He's gone, Co. He's dead."

(SNIFFLES) And he-- Co just broke down,

and we both... (SIGHS)

It was just like, "He's dead. He did it."

CONRAD ROY JR: It was horrible. I just...

just went and cried...

like, you know...

for days.

INTERVIEWER: Did you go to the K-Mart?

No. Mm-mm.

I think if I would have saw him or been with his body,

it would-- I don't think I would've left.

I am, um...

SCOTT GORDON: Generally, in cases where

there is an untimely passing,

we review dispatch logs, police logs.

It's for us to keep up and see

if there's anything we have to follow up on.

I came across their reports related to Conrad Roy's death.

Collectively, within our office our thought was,

you know, why would someone 18 years old take his own life?

Everyone's life is within their phone these days.

At the time in which Conrad was located,

his phone was dead.

So, there was this-- some discussion

as to whether or not to take it or not.

But the people assigned to the case that day

decided to-- to take the phone.

And there wasn't-- at that point,

it didn't seem like there was a ton of reason

to get into the phone other than to try to come up with an answer

of why an 18-year-old-boy would have killed himself.

No one knew about what had actually occurred.

GORDON: I opened the phone,

and I went right to the message part of the phone,

and there was only thread open.

And it said Michelle Carter, at which time I had no idea

that meant anything.

Uh, and then when I clicked on--

to open that actual conversation,

it was quickly where I realized that the text messages were

disturbing in nature.


GORDON: Glenn was sitting across from me at his desk,

and at one point, I was like,

"Guys," you know, "you gotta see this."

And as I continued to read is when we, uh,

ended up thinking that we should probably contact

the DA's office just to let them know

-what we had found. -(TEXT MESSAGE ALERTS)

GORDON: It was just constant encouragement

to take his life.


GORDON: Almost demanding that he take his life.

It was awful.

It was awful to think

that there was somebody that could actually

push somebody towards suicide like that,

especially someone that young.


GLENN CUDMORE: At that point, the big thing

was trying to figure out who Michelle Carter was.

GORDON: It is 5:51 on October 2nd.

We're talking to Michelle Carter at King Philip High School.

Um, Michelle, the reason why we came out here is

we were looking into Conrad's unfortunate passing.

-All right? -MICHELLE CARTER: Yeah.

GORDON: Um, did you have contact with him

the day right up until he-- he-- he passed?

-MICHELLE: Mm-hmm. -GORDON: Did you--


GORDON: Yeah? Did he-- did he tell you

he was gonna do that or anything like that?


-GORDON: Yeah? -MICHELLE: And...

GORDON: Mm-hmm.


-GORDON: What would? -MICHELLE: Of like just...


Is that-- is that your phone? Is that the phone you had?

MICHELLE: Yeah. It's my phone. It's kind of broken.

GORDON: Oh, it is?

MICHELLE: Uh, well, the screen--

GORDON: Is this password protected?


GORDON: What's-- Do you know the password so I can...


Here you go.


Okay? So, we'll be taking it.

MICHELLE: Wait, so... you're taking my phone?


MICHELLE: Do I get it back?

GORDON: At some point, you will, yeah.


CUDMORE: Her phone download was approximately 60,000 items.

There was pictures, there was voicemails,

there was call logs, there was text messages,

chats through Facebook.

We each grabbed a copy of it and went home at night

and read about a thousand text messages each.

And we came back the next morning,

and I still remember that we looked at each other,

and I don't know if I said it first

or he said it first, but it was...

"If it wasn't for her, he's alive today."

I think at that point we really realized

that we had something that was criminal.


JUDGE: Court's in session. Be seated. Please remain quiet.

MCGONAGLE: When she arrested and the texts came out,

we were just shocked.

I mean, it was just so heinous.

"When are you gonna do it? Stop ignoring the question.

Question mark, question mark, question mark, question mark.

You can't keep pushing it off. Are you gonna do it tonight?"

And she keeps at him, Your Honor.

At him and at him to do it.

BECKI MAKI: It was almost the same feeling

as finding out that he died.

It's like an out-of-body experience.

Like reading it, it's like, "This can't be real.

Is this-- Am I dreaming?"

It's like reading a novel, or--

It's not something that happens in your family.

MCGONAGLE: The more we read, it was just like...

"You've got to be kidding."

We want to rip her face off right now.

Like, we are so angry.

urging the teen to kill himself

right up until his final moments.

Carter encouraged and even guided Roy.

That really caught a lot of people's attention.

"Go ahead and do it.

Do it, babe.

Why haven't you done it yet?"

What is that puss on her face?

Hold on. Back it up, Liz.

Okay, hold everything.

NEWS ANCHOR 3: Police say at one point, before Roy died,

he got scared, got out of the truck,

and called Carter.

Carter told him to get back in.

Hi. This is Conrad Roy.

And I'm gonna talk to you about social anxiety.

For me, social anxiety feels...

like it's overwhelming my life.

Like, everything does not revolve around me.

And now I want to take steps to control it.

And the first thing I want to do...

is be more proactive

in a social environment,

try to contribute to conversation

as well as I can,

and just be more confident in myself

and my ability to...

retract my knowledge.

'Cause I-- I feel like I'm a smart man.

I'm 18 years old,

and I still haven't recovered from social anxiety, depression.

It's controlling me.

A lot of people tell me that I have a lot going for me.

I have to be happy, I have to be happy.

Well, no, you don't have to be happy.

There's people that love me.

I have a great mom.

Great dad, for the most part.

But I'm so depressed.

Feel like I'm differently wired from everyone else.

Like there's something wrong with me.

The serotonin in my head is gone.

And to replace it with dopamine, or...

another controlled substance,

but if I keep talking-- keep talking--

it's gonna get better.


CONRAD ROY SR: (SINGING) ♪ We love you, Conrad

Oh, yes, we do

We love you, Conrad

And we'll be true

When you're not near us

We're blue

Oh, Conrad, we love you

My son, when he was born, he was the first one hatched.

And we named-- I said, "Oh my God,

He looks just like me. Another Conrad."

And then when Co, my son, had his son, first one,

he says, "Oh my God, he looks like just me."

And we named him Conrad.

When they came out of the hospital with C3,

they brought him down to the shipyard

where I was getting ready to leave.

And at three days old,

I had him in my hand,

and we did an assist job bringing a tanker

into New Bedford.

We've got pictures of him,

even when it was a little ship,

that, uh, he was there. I mean, you know...

not really knowing what to do or how to do it,

but he was there.

And it's, um...

I've had some great memories of that.

(SOBBING) Some real great memories.

And... I'm sorry.


CONRAD ROY JR: Our family, we, uh, work in the water

and we play in the water.

When he was younger, he definitely liked, um,

being on the sailboats

and being in, like, the pleasure boats.

When he got a little bit older,

we would take him on some salvage jobs.

And then, in his, like, junior year,

he worked with me full time.

I suppose it wasn't the same since we got, you know,

divorced, you know?

It was a little-- It was different for all of us, so...

I mean, every child, um...

has difficulty with a divorce.

They always ultimately

want their parents to be together.

ROY JR: It was during high school, um,

and it was when, like,

he started school back up again.

We didn't notice it right away, but his grades were slipping

and he was saying he was having,

like, a tough time staying focused,

and, um...

He said he-- he said he was having, like, racing thoughts,

and he said he was, like, losing his memory.

We were bringing him to, uh,

you know, all these doctors and, you know, psychiatrists,

and trying to figure out, you know, what was going wrong.

If my kids are happy, I'm happy.

So, the fact that my son wasn't...

it destroyed my soul for a while. (SNIFFLES)

What I am doing is...

I'm looking at myself so negatively.

Look at myself, minuscule little particle...

on the face of this earth.

It's no good. Trash. Will never be successful.

It was really tough to watch him go through that.


Like, he didn't--

he didn't know what to, like,

who to sit with at school at times, and, uh...

It's just heartbreaking as a parent.


And then, you know, some kids would pick on him,

you know, and uh...

Listen. (YAWNS)

I just have to get the cobwebs out.

Turn the gears.

The gears need to be turning.

Turn them gears.

(CHUCKLING) That's what I gotta do.

I wish that...

I would have seen more.

I wish I would've picked up more signs

that week, that day.

If I knew he was feeling or thinking that way,

yeah, I would have had him handcuffed to, probably to a uh,

to my car and brought him to a hospital.

But he just, like--

I just thought he was doing well.

ROY JR: He seemed like he was just on the right track.

It seemed like everything was, like, getting better.

Um... And he was, um,

you know, able to get his captain's license

and he was, like,

seemed to be like really wanting to, uh,

you know, learn, like, the business.

ROY SR: I mean, when he came in the living room

and he-- he--

(VOICE BREAKING) He shows me his captain's license,

and it was like, "You must be shitting me, Co."

You know, I mean,

not that I was one to shy on words, but I mean...

I said, "Are you shitting me?

You got it already?"

He says, "Yeah, look at it." You know?

That was-- It was just a few weeks before he-- he died.

INTERVIEWER: What caused Conrad's death?

I would say-- I would say it's Michelle Carter.



CAMDYN ROY: They met in Florida,

when we were visiting my great aunt.

She has a place down there,

like, this country club type thing,

and her-- Michelle's grandparents do too.

Um, and they were friends.

Like, so, like, February vacation,

when Michelle's family and my family--

well, Conrad's family-- were both down there,

my aunt introduced Michelle and Conrad to each other.

And like, I don't know,

they went, like, on a bike ride together.



MARIN COGAN: I would say the relationship between

Michelle Carter and Conrad Roy

is a thoroughly modern romance. Right?

It's a romance conducted almost entirely online.

LYNN: They met maybe five times.

That's why I didn't know they were boyfriend and girlfriend.

I never saw her.

Like, I mean I-- I saw him text her all the time,

you know, on his phone. But...

I didn't think that they had a, um, a relationship like that.


COGAN: They had, in fact,

exchanged thousands upon thousands of messages...


...and had this sort of intimacy

without ever really seeing each other.

They're having this secret relationship

that is totally destructive, um, to their mental health.

REPORTER: Attorneys for Michelle Carter

do not deny the evidence.

They do not deny the text messages, et cetera.

Instead, what they say is that even though

her conduct may be reprehensible,

they say it is not criminal, and therefore,

she should not be charged with manslaughter

in connection with the suicide of her boyfriend.

Whether it's the right thing, the wrong thing,

the moral thing, the immoral thing,

what I'm certain of is it wasn't a crime.

There's no law that criminalizes

encouragement of suicide in Massachusetts,

and now the district attorney's office says,

even though our legislature

has not criminalized that behavior with the law,

we're gonna prosecute her with a homicide.

The idea that your speech alone

in the way of text messages and words in the telephone

can equal a manslaughter charge,

I think, is a dangerous, dangerous precedent.

COURT CLERK: SJC-12043. Commonwealth V Michelle Carter.

Good morning.

JUDGE: Good morning, Mr. Curhan. Why don't you get us going?

We contend that verbally encouraging someone

to commit suicide, no matter how forceful the encouragement,

does not constitute a crime in Massachusetts.

Judge 1: So, the person has a gun

and says, "I am going to kill myself."

Right? And you're saying, "Good."


"Good, good. Go for it, do it." "Ah, I don't know."

"No, no. Come on. Come on. Pull the trigger."

Is-- Does that step over the line?

-CURHAN: I don't think so. -Or is that still... okay?

I don't think verbally encouraging someone--

I don't think that-- I don't think that

-would be a crime. -JUDGE 2: Wait. I mean--

You mean if somebody solicits a murder?

CURHAN: Uh, if somebody solicits--

We get that all the time.

That would odd because there's an underlying crime.

-CURHAN: Right. Right. -...of murder.

You see, the-- Part of the problem

is that Massachusetts doesn't--

is one of eleven states that doesn't have a--

a statute addressing this-- this type of behavior,

that-- encouraging suicide.

But we do have an involuntary manslaughter statute,

which talks about wanton and reckless conduct

resulting in the death, causing the death, of someone.

And, at some point,

can verbal action become wanton and reckless

if it results in someone's death?

CURHAN: The problem is that, uh,

the death was caused by the victim himself.

He's the one who got the generator,

who drove to the location, who set it up in the truck,

who turned it on, and who got in the truck.

So, I'm in the truck, and I'm dying.

And I deci-- I have to get out.

I get out.

And I call my friend,

and my friend says, "Get back in the truck.

Kill yourself."

That's not enough? That's just talk?

If she was physically present

and she said, "Get back in the truck

or I'll put you back in there myself,"

or, here, another example,

standing on the edge of a bridge.

"Jump off that bridge or I will push you."

The, uh, "or I will push you"

would probably take that over the line.

But "jump off the bridge" would not.

It doesn't matter how persistent she is.

It doesn't matter how reprehensible

we might think her conduct is.

It simply isn't a crime, and it was not at the time,

and we can't make it a crime retroactively.

Unless there are any further questions,

I'll leave the remaining points to the brief.

JUDGE 1: Thank you, counselor.

I've been doing this for 25 years now.

I read the law. I understand it.

And it's not a case that should've ever been brought.

And it's gonna have a potential chilling effect

on free speech rights

about whether or not people can openly discuss suicide

and encourage it between loved ones.

This case will set precedent.

EMILY BAZELON: I'm not someone, generally,

who's in favor of expanding the scope of the criminal law,

but I have to say, in reading those messages,

it just seemed clear that

she was trying to exert

some real influence over his behavior.


BAZELON: I would really struggle with the question

of whether the kind of psychological pressure

Michelle Carter appeared to be applying and a part of

could have the same impact

as physically assisting someone with the suicide.

CATALDO: She was 40 miles away on a telephone.

He could've stayed out of the car.

He could a hung up the telephone.

So, there's no coercion here.

JESSE BARRON: My name is Jesse Barron,

and I covered the Michelle Carter case

for Esquire Magazine.

I read an article about the case

in the South Coast Times in the summer of 2016,

and I went to a pretrial hearing in December.

And I knew that I had to write about it.

On the first day of the trial, I was waiting up outside of--

We had to pick up our press badges,

and all the media's there kind of waiting

to start the show.

And at some moment, a few minutes after 9:00 AM,

a TV producer whispered, "Is that her?"

And all heads turn.


Michelle, wearing a white quilted car coat

and high heels, is coming toward us.


And there was this feeling of a...

weird sort of inverse star power that was put on her.

She was thin. She was blonde.

She was tanning-booth tan.

It felt like she knew she was gonna be photographed.


JUDGE MONIZ: Good morning, Miss Carter.

Please remain standing while you are sworn.

Please raise your right hand.

In this matter before the court

do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth,

and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

I do.

JUDGE MONIZ: Please take a seat and make yourself comfortable.

And please keep your voice up nice and loud.

Please state your full name and age.

Michelle Diana Carter. Uh, 20.

JUDGE MONIZ: So, you understand, Miss Carter,

that you are fully entitled under the Constitution

to a jury of your peers to decide

whether or not you are in fact guilty of this crime?


JUDGE MONIZ: That is the right that you are giving up

with your testimony now.


JUDGE MONIZ: All right. Has anyone promised you anything

or threatened you in any way

to make you forgo your right to a jury trial?


JUDGE MONIZ: Are you doing that of your own free will,

knowingly and voluntarily?


JUDGE MONIZ: All right. Thank you very much.

You may step down.

Thank you.

BOB MCGOVERN: It was a genius defense strategy here,

especially doing it in the eleventh hour, uh,

right before they were supposed to select the jury.

Juries of your peers often don't know the law

as much as they know their own emotions

and how their own emotions are applied to the facts

that are put in front of them.

And sometimes emotions win the day.

This has turned into a matter of law.

So, what Judge Moniz decides here:

This is step one of what is going to be

a ever-evolving area of the law.

Now, prosecutors can show the judge--

and more importantly, I believe, show the public--

exactly what happened here.

MARYCLARE FLYNN: I'm gonna be putting on-- on the screen

a photograph.

Can you tell us who we're seeing in this photograph?


FLYNN: And how old would Conrad have been

in this photograph?


FLYNN: I ask that be marked as the next exhibit, please.

JUDGE MONIZ: Is there an objection?


FLYNN: Do you see Michelle Carter

present in the courtroom today?

LYNN: Yes.

FLYNN: Could you please point to her,

identify something that she's wearing?

I don't know. A red shirt, looks like.

FLYNN: Your Honor, may the record reflect

identification of the defendant.

JUDGE MONIZ: Yes, the record may so reflect.

LYNN: It's hard to see someone on the outside

and then know them in the inside.

I don't know, I thought I was pretty...

a pretty good judge of character.

I don't know. But after that? (SCOFF)

I-- I-- It's-- It's very hard for me to...

understand someone, so...

BARRON: Michelle Carter was a suburban girl

from a town called Plainville of 8,000.

She was a good student.

She was a polite, appealing teenager

who adults felt respected by.

So, outwardly, this was, like, as straight white American

suburban teenage life as you can get.

DR. PETER BREGGIN: She was, in this small community,

known as a really sweet, caring young woman.

This was a most unusual child who, for whatever reason,

wanted above all things to be helpful to other people.

But then, when I got to reading all those texts,

I entered another world of Michelle

that I didn't know about.


FLYNN: Later on that night, that's when you get

the text message from Michelle Carter?


FLYNN: I'm now going to ask you about the 13th.


FLYNN: Do you recall getting a text message that said...

-"Find him yet?" -CAMDYN: Mm-hmm.

FLYNN: And you replied back, "No."


"Okay, just stay positive. Let me know."

Do you recall that?

CAMDYN: Mm-hmm.

FLYNN: Had she told you that she was with him

-at all that night? -No.

Did she ever tell you that she'd been on the phone

-with your brother that night? -No.


FLYNN: On July 14th, do you recall

getting a text message from Michelle Carter

saying... (READS TEXTS)

-Do you recall that? -Yeah.

FLYNN: Had she ever been to your house before

-that you recall? -No.


LYNN: I thought that she really cared about him.

You know, I told her, I said, "I'm so glad

that my son had someone like you in his life."

-(TEXT MESSAGE ALERT) -LYNN: And I thought she was

very, very sweet and compassionate and loving.

I don't know. Why would you ever think that...

someone would think the way she does?


FLYNN: After you had told her that his body was cremated,

do you recall she replied to you...



-CAMDYN: Yes. -FLYNN: Do you recall that?

-CAMDYN: Yes. -Did you think that was odd?

A little.

FLYNN: Were you concerned by that?

CAMDYN: A little.


LYNN: She messaged me at some point and said,

"You tried your hardest, I tried my hardest."

I was like, "Well, that's a red flag," you know?

Excuse my language, but...

What the fuck is she talking about?

(CHUCKLES) Like, I tried to save him?

I had no idea he was feeling that way.

It's weird because before he passed,

I told him, I said, "Conrad," I said, "Mom was a teenager.

I know how girls can be.

If you're pretty, they can just smile

and just, you know, bat their eyelashes,

and some boys will be like, 'Woo.'"


I said, "But girls can... can be very manipulative."

And uh, I never believed that my son

would be taken advantage of in the worst way possible.

FLYNN: Who would do this and why?

I would suggest the evidence will show

that the defendant was a very needy person

who craved attention.

But she didn't have many close friends.

You're going to hear from some of the girls

that knew her during high school.

They will tell you that she texted them incessantly.

She was trying to get close to them

and be part of their lives,

but these girls had many things going on

and they really didn't hang around with her

outside of school.

So, in June of 2014,

when the school year was coming to an end,

the defendant needed something to get their attention.

KATIE RAYBURN: Samantha Boardman, Your Honor.

Now, in your junior year,


And do you remember how you came to meet her?

She was in two of my classes, I believe, um, or--

So, I talked to her in math class, I believe.

JUDGE MONIZ: There's another witness?

FLYNN: Olivia Mosolgo, please.

JUDGE MONIZ: All right.

FLYNN: Would you consider yourself

a close friend with her in high school?

OLIVIA MOSOLGO: We were close teammates, I would say.

FLYNN: So, you were more teammates, not friends?

We were friends in the sense that I was there for her

when she was going through things, and...

-FLYNN: Okay. -But not every day,

-like, best friends... -FLYNN: Would you go--

On weekends, would you hang out with her?

-No. -FLYNN: Uh, is it fair to say

that she expressed to you that she felt like

-she had no friends? -MOSOLGO: Yes.

FLYNN: And did she send text messages to you about that?




Do you recall getting that text message from Michelle Carter?


KATIE RAYBURN: Lexie Eblan, please.

Please describe your relationship

with Michelle Carter, if-- if you had any.

LEXIE EBLAN: It was mostly an in-school friendship.

Um... Mostly just, like, talking in school and stuff.

Um, that was kind of, like, the extent.

RAYBURN: And during those first couple of years of high school,

would you ever socialize with Michelle Carter

outside of high school?

Outside of seeing her in a classroom?

I don't believe I did.

RAYBURN: Did Michelle Carter ask you

to do things during that junior year

-via text? -EBLAN: Definitely.

-(TEXT MESSAGE ALERT) -EBLAN: Probably a couple,

a few times a week.


RAYBURN: And what was your usual answer?

EBLAN: That I was working

or had something else to do, or no.


RAYBURN: And as school is ending,

were there any talks between you and Michelle

about doing things over the summer?

EBLAN: Um, I believe Michelle asked us,

but I'm not sure if we had any plans.

RAYBURN: Okay. In your mind, did you have any plans

to hang out with her over the summer?

EBLAN: Not really.




FLYNN: She knew her plan to get attention would work

because she pre-tested it.

On July 10, two days before Conrad committed suicide,

she did a "dry run,"

texting several girls that Conrad had gone missing

while simultaneously texting and talking with Conrad,

telling him to go get the gas machine.


FLYNN: The girls immediately responded,

texting concern,

asking if the police were involved,

and again, the defendant lied.


FLYNN: She also tells her friend

that it's her fault that he killed himself.

FLYNN: They, again, offering her comfort,

-tell her it's not her fault. -(TEXT MESSAGE ALERT)

FLYNN: They are paying attention to her now.

So, she has to make it happen.

She has to make him kill himself

so that she continues to get that attention

and not be known as a liar.

She has to be the grieving girlfriend

to get the sympathy and the attention

that she believes she deserves.


RAYBURN: The next day, 7-13-2014,

do you get a message from Michelle Carter?


RAYBURN: What does she ask you?

BOARDMAN: "Can we do something tonight

to get my mind off of it?"

RAYBURN: So, on the night of the twelfth,

she texts you that Conrad killed himself, correct?

-BOARDMAN: Yes. -Okay.

And then the next day,

she asks you if you want to hang out?



FLYNN: In the days following Conrad's death,

she sought attention and sympathy,

People started texting her, consoling her,

visiting her, and she suddenly became important.


FLYNN: What did you do, after you heard that?

MOSOLGO: I went to see her.

FLYNN: And was that something that you would normally do?

MOSOLGO: It's something I would normally do

for a friend that was having

-a difficult time-- -No, I'm asking you

would you normally do that for Michelle Carter?

-MOSOLGO: I wouldn't-- -Go to her house?

MOSOLGO: No. Not usually.

And why, on this particular day,

did you decide to go to her house?

MOSOLGO: Because I would probably want

someone to be with me if that happened.

FLYNN: So, you felt that she needed your comfort?


FLYNN: Did you observe people, uh, comforting her

-in the days that followed? -MOSOLGO: Yes.

FLYNN: And was that more than normal?

-Yes. -FLYNN: Okay.

And at some point, um, did you learn about something called

-Homers for Conrad? -MOSOLGO: Yes.

FLYNN: How did you come to learn about that?

It was on Facebook and she told me about it.

FLYNN: Do you recall getting this text message?

Could you please read it for us?


FLYNN: Did you check it out?


BOARDMAN: Homers for Conrad was a tournament

that Michelle was putting on in Conrad's honor

to raise money for mental health awareness.

I was curious as to why the tournament

was being held in Plainville and not in Mattapoisett.

RAYBURN: Why were you curious about that?

'Cause all of Conrad's family and friends

-are from Mattapoisett. -(TEXT MESSAGE ALERTS)

RAYBURN: Did you relay to her that you thought

where Conrad's friends and family are?


RAYBURN: And how did she respond to you wanting, suggesting,

that maybe it should be moved to be more convenient

-for his friends and family? -She wasn't willing to move it.


TOM GAMMELL: When I kept asking about it,

she wanted to make clear

that she was getting credit for all this,

which I had no problem with.


RAYBURN: Given that she wasn't willing to move it, sir,

what did you do?

I went to the tournament.

RAYBURN: And at some point, did Miss Carter ask that

her photograph be taken with some of the teams?


RAYBURN: And is that a fair and accurate depiction

of a team photo with your team, uh, having won,

and Miss Carter in the middle?


RAYBURN: How would you describe

Miss Carter's demeanor throughout Homers for Conrad?

GAMMELL: She seemed very happy.

RAYBURN: Did you see other young ladies

at Homers for Conrad, as well as yourself?


RAYBURN: Young ladies from your school,

and yourself, and Miss Carter. Is that correct?

-Yes. -RAYBURN: Thank you.

FLYNN: And were some of them, uh, her friends?

They were mostly all her friends and family.

FLYNN: She begins to get

the attention that she's been craving for.

The grieving girlfriend.

REPORTER 2: Three years after Conrad Roy committed suicide,

prosecutors took us to the site where it happened.

From what I understand,

this is where the boy took his life.

Sitting right here.

It's so sad.

I've never met the girl,

but I've seen pictures of her.

She just has that look that I remember,

that I see that look,

and it's like, "You little snot.

How could you do that to a human being,

you 90210 piece of crap?"

Uh, you know?

I'm telling you, if I was on the jury,

I'd say, "Yeah. Go ahead.

Your parents aren't gonna miss you

if you're in Framingham for the next 30 years.

See ya later, bye."

I-- I swear to God, you know.

To me, this is evil.

This is evil.

And, um, where does evil come from?

I don't know.


BARRON: Almost immediately after the indictment,

there was...

a narrative that got set, that didn't change.

And it was set in the community, it was set in town,

it was set in the press.

And that is of this heartless bitch

who killed a guy to get popular.

And the reason that's such a compelling story

is it combines two things that people feel about teenage girls.

One of them is that they are-- Uh, they're coercive,

that they have a kind of secret power

that men don't have, that boys don't have,

and that they can use it.

The other thing is that they're crazy

and they only live for attention

and they just want to be popular and they're vapid.

And so, in saying that Michelle was this, like,

coercive ice queen

who killed a guy in order to become popular,

it was like the perfect combination

of everything that people hate about teenage girls.

COGAN: It was near-universal revulsion

at Michelle Carter.

She was portrayed as this black widow,

this teenage black widow,

a sociopath, a monster.

She was called the worst person in the world.

Just universal shock and anger that someone could do this

to this sweet young man, Conrad Roy.

BARRON: None of this is to say that what Michelle did

wasn't scary.

But the narrative that she did it

in this kind of witchy, Satanic, coercive way,

I think, came more from us than from her.

It's an American fable.

BREGGIN: Men are terrified of women.

We all struggle with that.

There's a long history of witches

in our culture.

And who are witches?

Witches were often

strong, loving women who treated people,

deranged people, sick people.

And we have vilified women

in many roles throughout history.

There's, in many men, a fear

that women can control them.

CATALDO: There are certain stories

that may sell newspapers and television shows

that the media will latch onto and try to turn into something.

You know, you have a, uh, young girl,

a girl who's attractive, and it was...

portrayed as something, uh, that it really wasn't.

They were just trying to paint Michelle in a bad light,

to try and say she had a motive

because, again, this case is so unique.

You need to twist the facts.

You need to twist the law

and try to line it all up to meet your story.

He had had depression.

She knew that.

He was an easy target.

It was all about her getting the attention

from a dead boyfriend.

How do you even process that?

That someone could be that inhuman?

I believe some people have no soul,

no conscience.

DR. OZ: Oh, my goodness. That's horrible.

BARRON: Michelle had

serious, serious mental health issues

for most of her adolescent life.

She had a severe eating disorder.

She was incredibly lonely.

BREGGIN: I think the eating disorder did to her

what it does to all young girls

who are suffering from that kind of problem.

It tends to make you feel odd and strange,

and it tends to make you want to isolate.

You tend to isolate from your parents.

You tend to hide your eating problem.

And then, later on, she starts to cut herself.

And cutting further isolates children from adults.

They have to hide it from the doctors,

hide it from their parents.

And she spends hours

texting back and forth with kids

who also aren't talking to their parents

about cutting, about eating disorders,

about suicide.


RAYBURN: Are there times when the defendant would text you

and you would take a while to text back?

-BOARDMAN: Yes. -And would she sometimes,

the defendant, react to that?


And what-- How would her reaction be

if you took a long time to respond to her?

BOARDMAN: She would often repetitively--

repeatedly texted me until I responded.

RAYBURN: And what would you generally describe,

sometimes, to be the length

of the defendant's text messages to you?

BOARDMAN: Very lengthy.



BREGGIN: There's no question that Michelle

is always asking people to love her.

She's always asking to get together,

and seemingly is not often getting together.


BREGIN: And a lot of her friends couldn't reciprocate

because she's too desperate.


She's so needy. It's a hole no one can fill.


Keep in mind, this is not

such a strange phenomena among young girls.


BREGGIN: Girls in high school destroy each other.



ANNOUNCER: Michelle Diana Carter.


CATALDO: It was all over national news.

Michelle was made out to, uh, be the bad guy.

Her-- Her friends at that point, the ones that were called,

did abandon her.

They were painting a different reality

than what existed.

The focus became Michelle, and not Conrad.

Did he really want to die?

And so, they shied away from

the root causes of why Conrad Roy killed himself.

Your Honor, this case is a suicide case.

It is not a homicide.

There just is insufficient evidence

to a reasonable factfinder to say that Conrad Roy

would not have taken his own life

on July 12th or July 13th of 2014

but for Michelle Carter.

The Commonwealth is trying to have it

so that the evidence is all about Michelle Carter.

There is so much evidence about Conrad Roy

and his decisions and his choices.

I can't fathom the fact that

I was such a happy kid

when I was younger.

And I've created a monster out of myself

the past few years

because of my depression.

Racing thoughts...

suicidal thoughts.


CATALDO: Go through his Google searches.

"Committing suicide makes you happy."


CATALDO: There are hundreds of these searches.


CATALDO: It was Mr. Roy who had a plan

to take his own life.

A long-held belief.

It goes back to the causation issue.

Did she actually cause his death?

COGAN: The question at the heart of this case is

can you cause someone else to commit suicide?

The prosecution has to prove that Michelle Carter

caused Conrad Roy's death.

RAYBURN: To suggest that he had his own free will,

and-- and we all do, to an extent,

and he could've just ignored her,

is an oversimplification of what was going on here.

Between the statements of "Why haven't you done it yet?"

and things of that nature, were other words,

and they were words of love.


RAYBURN: Although it may seem odd that I'm suggesting

that words of love could be considered reckless,

I think they are here when you look at the circumstances.

She knew that he had social anxiety.

She knew that he was depressed.

She knew his frailties because he confided in her.


RAYBURN: But not only that, Your Honor,

she knew herself.

She knew what it was like to be lonely.

And as June turned into July,

she turned that into "I love you, kill yourself."


MAKI: I don't know how someone could tell someone else

to kill themselves that supposedly loved them.


You want to help them,

not help them to kill themselves.


BREGGIN: It's a perfect storm of a tragedy.

It's a complete tragedy.


Many things played a role in here.

And some things that seem very important

seem to me to have been withheld by the prosecution.




JOSEPH CATALDO: Did you have some interaction

-with a Conrad Roy Junior? -Yes, I did.

CATALDO: And could you please describe that?


JUDGE MONIZ: Overruled.

I was-- I was-- I responded to an assault call, sir.

CATALDO: Okay. And what did you do when you arrived?

We attempted to find the person that had been assaulted.

CATALDO: Okay. And at some point in time, did you come into, um,

the physical presence of Conrad Roy III?

-I did. -CATALDO: Okay. And uh,

did you make any observations of him?

JUSTIN KING: Yes, his face was swollen red

and he had some uh, lacerations to his face.

CATALDO: Did you obtain a written statement from him?

KING: I did, yes.


I found myself um, at a home located on, uh, Perkins Lane.

CATALDO: And what did you do when you arrived

-at that location? -I interviewed a, uh,

an older male and a female.

CATALDO: Okay. And do you remember the older male's name?

Conrad Roy.

CATALDO: And did you ask him specifically what happened?


Before concluding my investigation, uh,

a male party was subsequently placed under arrest.

CATALDO: And who was that male party that was--

The father.

-The one you were speaking to? -Correct.

CATALDO: And what was he arrested for?

Assault and battery domestic.


Yeah. You know, you think at first

it's kind of embarrassing but you know what?

It doesn't really matter.

I know what happened that night with my son.

And I know, like, I was being a parent.

And I know things got out of control

and we both fought each other. (SCOFFS)

And, um...

and I'd do it again just-- just like that.

You know, sometimes, like,

you say it, you know, like-- My father always said,

"If you ever take a swing at me,

you're gonna, um,

you're gonna get it." (CHUCKLES) You know? It's like,

"You're gonna make sure you don't do that ever again."

And I just felt like I had to do the same thing.

REPORTER: Hard to describe the feeling

in the courtroom today.

Pretty much everyone on edge.

Now, the defense will present their case.

They've already called several witnesses this morning

and things will move forward in this landmark trial.

JESSE BARRON: You have to remember that

this case has two families

who were basically trying to do the same thing.

They both want a version of the story

in which it is not their fault.

The Roys are hoping for a version of the story

where the suicide of their son is Michelle's fault,

and that she was waiting for the moment

when she could pounce on this kid

And the Carters are hoping for a version of the story

where Michelle's actions are not her fault.

And that's what Peter Breggin was arguing.

-JUDGE MONIZ: Morning, Doctor. -Good morning, Your Honor.

Please raise your right hand.

In this matter before the court, you swear the testimony you're about to give

to be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth

-so help you God? -I do.

Thank you.

All right. Please take a seat, sir.

Make yourself nice and comfortable.


I got a call out of the blue from the attorney, Mr. Cataldo.

What he said is, "Doc, we got this case

that we don't know what's going on

and we can't figure out...

Um... Give us a hand." (LAUGHS)

I was originally called in

to see whether Conrad Roy's medication

had made him suicidal.

He was on psychiatric drugs, antidepressants,

and if you look at the research on what the psych drugs do...

they can cause suicide.

I concluded it was a contributing factor

but not an overwhelming factor

because there were many other things impinging on Conrad.


Conrad was reacting to a very unhappy,

angry, and at times, violent divorce. We know that.

The father charged the mother with assault.

There're all these things coming to bear on him.

Then I found out that Michelle was... on psychiatric drugs too.

And so, we have these two kids;

they're not star crossed, they're drug crossed.

When did Michelle Carter start, uh, consuming SSRIs?

She started Prozac (CLEARS THROAT)

on February 17, 2011, uh, ten milligrams.

And, uh, she was just a young girl then,

fourteen going on 15.

CATALDO: Okay, thank you.

BREGGIN: Prozac greatly increase the risk

of suicide in young people her age.

And she never should've been given Prozac

because she was bulimic,

and that would increase the power of Prozac over her.

And not long after her first exposure to Prozac,

she climbed up on a stool

and put a noose around her neck in her closet.



Now at the same moment, Conrad Roy,

whom at that point she thought was a sweet boyfriend

without any serious problems,

was admitted to a psychiatric hospital

for a serious suicide attempt.



So now Michelle, who's a youngster

who's on Prozac at the time,

is dealing with this huge disclosure.

It's-- And he is saying "I'm not who you thought I was."


BREGGIN: And furthermore, as announced to her

that voices are telling himself to kill himself tonight.


Michelle becomes desperate.


Conrad won't answer her.


And she thinks he's killed himself.



Conrad, at least four times, attempted suicide,

once nearly killing himself.

LYNN ROY: He overdosed on acetaminophen.

And the EMTs call me.

And, um, they ask, they're like,

"Well, he threw-- You know, threw up a lot.

Do you want, um, him to be seen?"

(SCOFFS) I said "Absolutely."


He almost needed a liver transplant at that time.

He said he would never do that again.

He said, "I-- I promise you

I will nev-- never do that again."

I said, "You know that if you died,


would want to die too. You know that, right?"


CATALDO: And how is this relevant

Well, it has to do with the...

effects of Conrad...

on what will eventually become

her idea taken from him

that he's going to kill himself,

and that all he cares about is doing it swiftly and quickly

and not botching it.

She's following his lead into a very dark place.




BREGGIN: Probably the most common

adverse effect of antidepressants is nightmares.

So, this is just spot on.

She's clearly out of her mind, and so is he.



CATALDO: You can't look at one text message.

You have to look at the totality of their relationship.

You have somebody, Conrad Roy,

who has been suicidal for a very long time,

really, at this point in time, intent on killing himself.


She, if you look at her for a year and a half,

never wanted him to die. Didn't want him to kill himself.


What caused her to switch?


BREGGIN: It struck me

that she was in an extremely abusive relationship.

There's this constant harassing of her

while he's not telling family.

And at one point toward the end,

-Conrad tells her... -(TEXT MESSAGE ALERT)

BREGGIN: "The one thing that will make me hate you

is if you tell anyone that I'm suicidal."

-And she listens. -(TEXT MESSAGE ALERT)

BREGGIN: Michelle got it all.

There's this huge pyramid of his misery

and at the bottom of it is sitting Michelle Carter

and nobody else.

Conrad told Michelle that his mother knew

that he was suicidal.


CATALDO: He actually screenshotted her, Michelle,

his laptop, of methods how to kill yourself.


CATALDO: Michelle says, "Well, didn't she say anything to you?"

And Conrad responded, "No,

she just looked at it and walked away."


What Conrad is doing is manipulating

and lying to Michelle, saying, "My mom even knows."


The whole story became deeper,

and the theme was running the exact opposite

of the DA's witch hunt.

In fact, both were victims of the psychiatric drugs.

CATALDO: What is a involuntary intoxication?

Well, by definition it's an intoxication,

which means that

the neurochemistry of the brain has been disrupted.

And that this intoxication is observable

through thoughts, behaviors, activities.

They involve, in general, things like impulsivity,

impaired judgment...

CATALDO: And specifically, Dr. Breggin,

as to Michelle Carter, did you have an opinion

of whether or not she was involuntarily intoxicated?


And what is that opinion?

BREGGIN: She was involuntarily intoxicated.

She was taking Prozac and she then switched to Celexa.

CATALDO: And are you able to, uh, pinpoint

about when she became involuntarily intoxicated?

Yes, on July 2nd,

she begins to help him go to heaven.



At this point, she has an involuntary intoxication

where she's not forming a criminal intent,

"I'm gonna harm him."

She's not doing something she thinks is criminal,

"This is bad."


BREGGIN: She's thinking

that it's a good thing to help him die.


BREGGIN: That she can mitigate the circumstances.


BREGGIN: That she can then go and help his family.


And like anybody who's in a hypomanic state,

she gets very angry when she's disrupted.


BREGGIN: This is now the way.

She's found the way to finally help.


DR. ANNE GLOWINSKI: Involuntary intoxication

is a diagnosis that I never use,

and that most of the colleagues that I know don't use.

But that is using forensic psychiatry.

So, without, you know, without, uh, any consensus

by our profession that it's even real.

In some children and adolescents taking antidepressants,

it can be disinhibiting.

I wouldn't call it drastic, you know?

But, uh, if you become manic when you're on antidepressant,

that's pretty drastic, you know,

and that happens in a very small proportion of cases.

You may resume when you are ready, Miss Rayburn.

Thank you very much, Your Honor.

-Uh, good morning, sir. -Morning.

KATIE RAYBURN: You would agree with me

at the time between July 2nd and July 12th, 2014,

the defendant was going to camp, correct?


She was interacting with friends at times, correct?

-BREGGIN: Yes. -She's seeking therapy

and talking to her therapist,

-correct? -Yes.

RAYBURN: And you would agree with me

that the therapist describes her appearance as

good eye contact, well groomed, correct? Okay?

-Yeah. -RAYBURN: All right.

Short-term memory intact. Judgment good. Correct?


RAYBURN: Behavior, no abnormalities, correct?


RAYBURN: Her affect is appropriate.

Her short, uh, long-term memory's intact,

-correct? -Yeah.

RAYBURN: Her insight is good.

-Correct? -Yeah.

RAYBURN: And you're now telling us

that she didn't know right from wrong

at that same time?

BREGGIN: Well, actually, she thought she was doing

absolutely the right thing.

RAYBURN: You would agree with me, though,

that on July 10th into July 11th 2014, uh,

the defendant is telling friends,

specifically Sam Boardman, that Conrad is missing,

-correct? -BREGGIN: Yes.

RAYBURN: But at the same time, you would agree with me

she's communicating with Conrad?


She's telling people he's missing,

she doesn't know where he is.

She's getting updates from the family.

All while speaking to him, correct?

Yes. It's very strange. I can't find a rational reason

why she would ever have been doing this.

I think it's part of a very confused, delusional state

that-- Where she's coming in and out of, uh,

"What's happening? What am I doing?"

RAYBURN: How about the rational reason

that she wanted to know how her friends would react

when he killed himself?

No. I can't imagine that would be motivating her

to be opening up this horrible, bizarre activity

she's involved in. I...

I mean, you would expect her

not to do anything like that. (CHUCKLES)

RAYBURN: But she's saying she's concerned for him,

while at the same time talking to him.

Yeah. I think it's really crazy.

And in fact, Sam does, I would suggest to you,

she then shows concern. Correct?

-Well, of course, yeah. -RAYBURN: Okay.

Focusing now on July 12th into the 13th. 9:48 PM.

To Sam: "I'm so fucking stupid.

The generator he got the other day...

I think that he-- the noise I heard...

I just looked it up; they emit carbon monoxide.

I think he poisoned himself with it."

And so it goes, correct?

-That's actually a question. -BREGGIN: Yeah. Yeah.

Okay. Now, you would agree with me, sir,

that there were text messages between the defendant

and Conrad Roy about exactly how he was gonna kill himself,

-weren't there? -Yeah. Absolutely.

Okay. So, her telling Sam,

"I think the noise that I heard, uh, I looked--

I think the generator he got today,

I think that was the noise I heard. I looked it up.

They can emit carbon monoxide."

She already knew that, didn't she?

-BREGGIN: Yes. -Okay.

And now talking to Ally, she says, "Ha, ha, yeah.

But I don't know; he's in a bad place right now,"

talking to Con-- about Conrad, correct?


RAYBURN: She's telling Ally he's in a bad place.

He's dead, sir, at that point.

Did you factor that in your opinion then?

The fact that she knows he's dead,

and in saying, "Ha, ha yeah.

But I don't know; he's in a bad place right now."

Did you factor that into your opinion?

Yes, I factored every--

every bit of this into my opinion, yes.

RAYBURN: So, she's telling one person one thing

and other people other things, correct?

BREGGIN: Yes, she is.

RAYBURN: So now, the next morning,

July 13th, 2014 at 9:02, her mother texts her, correct?


"Hi, Michelle. What are you doing?" Right?

Michelle responds, "I'm at home."

Mom says, "Doing what?"

Michelle responds, "Nothing, ha, ha."

Doesn't tell her mother anything about what's going on,

-does she? -BREGGIN: No.

RAYBURN: She only tells her friends,

-correct? -BREGGIN: Yes.

RAYBURN: These same friends that she has been asking

to hang out with her for the past year

and who routinely don't hang out with her.

Isn't that true?

Oh, I don't know that.

RAYBURN: Would you factor it into your opinion,

the fact that these-- the defendant wanted to hang out

with her friends and her friends didn't have time with her

that summer? Could that impact your opinion?

BREGGIN: That it turned her into a crazy person

who transformed her character,

-became grandiose... -No.

...and encouraged a young man whom she loved

and had been working with a-- again and again to--

to get better, that she turned on him

and started to encourage him to die?

No, I don't think so.

She's psychotic, deluded. She's disturbed.

Everything you're describing is why I concluded

she's got an involuntary intoxication.


CAMERAMAN: All right, just coming in.

-You ready? -Yep.

NEWS ANCHOR: So far this morning we've been hearing from

Dr. Peter Breggin, that paints a very different picture

than what we saw last week in those messages.

And the biggest question here now

is will Michelle Carter testify?

Are you gonna call Michelle to the stand tomorrow?

Uh. I have no comment. We're going to proceed tomorrow

with the continuation of the trial.

BARRON: Part of the drama of this case

was the adult world confronting what teenagers are like.

All right, guys. Can you stop? You've already got her picture.

And I think for the parents it must be sort of impossible

to understand what happened,

'cause it's so far from what is, you know,

acceptable human behavior,

what she did in the last few weeks.

And I think the biggest mystery of the story is not...

why Michelle Carter did what she did,

but what Michelle Carter thought she was doing.

JOHN SULER: What's really interesting about this case

is that we have this very detailed record

of what was said between them.

This detailed record of their minds coming together

and interacting with each other.

In the past we wouldn't have had that record.

All we would've had was a person commits suicide

and we're all left wondering what happened.

Are we talking about young psychopaths?

Are we talking about

narcissistic personality disorders,

borderline disorders?

Are we just talking about young, troubled kids

who don't have a well-developed frontal cortex

and just don't have the self-awareness

and the ability to see what they're doing?

But now because we have this record of this dialogue

between them, we have this opportunity to see

what was going on inside their minds,

inside that thought process between the two of them.



BARRON: The idea that this was a case

where a girlfriend killed a boyfriend

is really weird.

The way that I read it is...

the relationship was much more Michelle's fantasy

and Michelle's idea than it was Conrad's.


BARRON: Conrad was alternately kind of mean to her,

kind of sweet to her...

kind of negging her for most of the relationship.


They really weirdly connected

on this slightly mean,

slightly competitive level that they both had.


BARRON: They had this kind of game

-that they would play together. -(TEXT MESSAGE ALERTS)

BARRON: They would finish each other's sentences,

they would play weird word games

and free associations.


BARRON: And it's, like, kind of sexy, kind of weird,

kind of exciting if you're a teenage boy.


BARRON: They both sort of liked this kind of

brinkmanship with each other.


BARRON: They talked a lot about

"Let's meet, let's hang out. When are we going to hang out?"

They'd come to the brink of seeing each other

and then they'd always back away.

So, their whole relationship was the text messages.



MARIN COGAN: The fact that we now all live our lives

via smart phones

is completely central to this case.

It's every parent's worst nightmare.

You have two teenagers connecting in the most

cataclysmic possible way.

Conrad, he found someone

who he could confide these thoughts in.

And Michelle found this access to immediate sort of intimacy.

(typing sounds)

SULER: When people are communicating through text,

strange things can start to happen.

You don't necessarily experience the other person

as another person.

You can't see them, you can't hear them,

you can't see their body language.

You have this voice with you all day long

that will suddenly pop up and say things to you.

I think in some ways people experience that

as a voice in their head,

almost as if it's like an internal hallucination.

You're really interacting with these characters

inside your mind without really understanding,

on a more conscious, rational level,

these text messages are coming from another person

with their own life and their own thoughts

and their own feelings.


BARRON: In some ways,

the big moral failing from Michelle

has to do with an eerie inability

to fully apprehend reality.


BARRON: There's one level of the conversation

that is a kid that's gonna kill himself.


BARRON: And then there's another level

that's a romantic fantasy.


BARRON: There is an amazing intensity to the messages

that's totally incommensurate with the relationship

-they had before. -(TEXT MESSAGE ALERT)

BARRON: And what I found is that

there was all of these references

to different TV shows, to movies, to songs...

But by far, by far the most common source

for that kind of language was Glee.

Glee is a TV show that is set in an American high school

and the stars are Lea Michele and Cory Monteith,

who are not only the stars of the show

but were a couple in real life.

And Michelle was obsessed with Lea Michele.

So, often when she was writing to Conrad

or writing about Conrad,

she would borrow from text that was in this TV show.

You are my first love.

And I want more than anything for you to be my last.


And I think she connected with Lea Michele

on kind of a profound level that went beyond

what a normal teen identifying with a star...

you know, might feel like.

A star of the popular show Glee found dead

in his hotel room in Vancouver. The body...

BARRON: In 2013, Cory Monteith overdosed in a hotel room

and died.

This was a year, basically, to the day,

before Conrad died.

The cast of Glee puts on a tribute episode.

(SINGING) ♪ When the rain is blowing in your face

Lea Michele sings a song in his honor

and everyone's devastated

because the character has died in the show.

So, it's an incredibly eerie piece of television, because...

you know that this actual actor OD'd in a hotel

somewhere in Canada, but in the world of the show,

this football quarterback has died tragically

and everyone is singing pop songs to mourn him.


in October 2013.

Michelle says, "I just want you to know how much I love you

and it really made me think of what it would be like

if you weren't here."

Totally out of the blue from what was happening.


BARRON: It's sort of the first moment

where you realize that Michelle

has, like, a completely other story

that's going on that has nothing to do with Conrad specifically.


BARRON: But the idea that

she would be the person in Glee

who had a boyfriend who was the quarterback

who had sort of tragically died,

I think was kind of more real to her

than it probably is to most people.

I had it all planned out.

Now what?

I don't know, something different.

Maybe something better.

I just-- I don't think that that's possible.

He was my person.



BARRON: One of the eerie parts of the text messages

that Michelle sent to her friends

where she quotes from Lea Michele,

is that they don't all come from Glee;

they come from interviews that the real actress is giving

about her real dead boyfriend to real talk show hosts.

I literally lived every day of my life

feeling like the luckiest girl in the whole world.

I just-- I just thought he was the greatest man.


This is weird. This is really weird.

BARRON: I think it translates to that Michelle

had little if any idea of who she was.

That she identified extremely strongly

with this other world, this other life.


BARRON: Alice was a teammate of Michelle's

on a travel softball team in the spring of 2012.

They instantly became incredibly close.

They went to, uh, each other's houses,

they slept over, they took a team trip to Montreal

and when other, uh, kids on the team

were going out to eat as a group,

they would kind of sneak off and eat together,

-just the two of them. -(TEXT MESSAGE ALERT)

It was an intense teen friendship

that was almost like a love affair for Michelle.


BARRON: Kind of abruptly,

right around the time that Michelle met Conrad,

Alice cut off contact with her.


And in 2014, in the summer...

Michelle, for some reason, starts really missing Alice.

And this is all happening right around the time

that Conrad is really suicidal.



BARRON: It seems to me that

really has more to do with the friendship with Alice

than it has to do with the relationship with Conrad.


BARRON: I called Alice and I said, you know,

"I want to interview you because it sounds like

Michelle was in love with you."

And I met Alice and her mother.

The reason they were meeting me

was to refute exactly that story.

So, they were meeting to say,

"Michelle is a sociopath,

and she made this all up. There was never

anything physical about the relationship."

And if I didn't feel for Michelle

in any moment before that,

in that moment I felt...

a sympathy for how alone she was.

She had this desire for things to be more intense,

more like stories than they really were.

She didn't live in reality;

like, she lived in some kind of fantasy... I think.

But she's just not a well person, so...

How can you be that angry or how can you be that...

when someone is not...

She's not well.

That's all I say. She's not well.



BARRON: The pattern that would happen

in the last few weeks of Conrad's life

is Conrad would say, "I'm gonna do it tonight."

Then the next morning he would be alive.

Then a few days later he would say,

"Okay, I'm ready to do it tonight.

I'm gonna do it," and then the next morning,

he would be alive.




BARRON: July 12th, when Conrad dies,

there's a kind of reality flicker,

where it's not entirely clear that it's actually happened.



BARRON: I'll tell you something really weird.

Five days before Conrad died, Michelle goes to a movie theater

and sees The Fault in Our Stars.

And at the climax of the movie,

the boy, Gus,

is dying in a gas station in a Jeep.

And he calls his girlfriend for help.


GUS: Hazel Grace.

Hi. Oh, my God, hi. Hi. I love you.

BARRON: And she calls the police

and he gets into an ambulance.

So, it doesn't seem implausible to me

that there were other stories in Michelle's mind

that reminded her of what was happening at that moment.

And I think the question is whether or not

she was kind of writing some story in her head

or writing some movie that for some reason

had to end with him dying.

Or whether she literally has no idea what she's done.


BARRON: What is obvious to me is that when...

he really needed someone

to understand how serious it was,

and to go over his head to the cops, to his mother,

she wasn't that person.

And that's her kind of tragic failing.

She, who wanted so badly to have a best friend

or someone she could sort of have this intense,

dyadic affair with,

had the opportunity to do that

with this kid who that night needed someone

to be his friend and to say, "You are being fucking crazy

and I'm calling the police." And um...

she didn't do it.



RAYBURN: "His death is my fault.

Like, honestly, I could've stopped him.

I was on the phone with him and he got out of the car

because it was working. And he got scared

and I fucking told him to get back in, Sam,

because I knew he would do it all over again the next day.

And I couldn't have him live that way,

the way he was living, anymore.

I couldn't do it. I wouldn't let him."

Those were her words, Your Honor.

She says to her friend, "If I had done something,

if I had just told him that I loved him,

he would still be alive."

CATALDO: Your Honor, this is a suicide,

as I said in my opening statement, and I say now.

What we're dealing with is a suicide and not a homicide.

And this is the government's burden

to prove that it was a homicide,

a manslaughter under the elements.

Proof, not by a probable cause,

not by clear and convincing evidence,

but proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

If you go through and you look at who actually created

this suicidal situation,

he brought her, with all of her baggage,

along for this sad journey of his

to eventually take his own life.

RAYBURN: Despite his issues,

Conrad Roy was a very self-aware young man.

He knew when he needed help.

You know what he said was the one reason

that he wanted to live? His family.

Before the defendant got her hooks into him

and started telling him to die every day, he was hopeful.

CATALDO: This is a gentleman who was sadly subjected

to domestic violence.

In fact, he tells that he had daily intrusive thoughts

of witnessing domestic violence.

Those are his words he's telling his therapist

in the counselors in the records, Your Honor.

RAYBURN: During the days leading up to this, Your Honor,

he told her, "I'm scared. I don't have it in me.

Another day wouldn't hurt."

Every time he came up with an excuse not to do it,

she kicked his feet out right from under him

and told him why it didn't matter,

why he still needed to die.

Mr. Roy himself stated to Michelle Carter,

"I want to die."

Straight up. Those words. "I want to die."

To turn around and say she's bullying him

or she got him to do something he didn't want to do,

he's asking her, "You want to help?"

His words. "You want to help?"

He doesn't tell her, "Stop this.

Don't call me, lose my number, stop texting me, block call,"

nothing of the like. He continues to use her

for his support to carry out his plan.


CATALDO: He goes down to K-mart.

He doesn't do a U-turn. Not seeking any help.

Police department down the road a half a mile.

He has his cell phone with him. What's he do?

He actually-- In the phone records,

he calls Michelle Carter.

The first phone call right there, he calls her.

He doesn't call 911. Doesn't call anybody else,

he calls Michelle.

I suggest why? Because he knows

that she is encouraging and supporting his plan.


RAYBURN: She created the harm, Your Honor,

when she told him to get back in the car.


He was scared. She knows he's gonna die

and she says, "I could've done something to stop it,

and if I had he would still be alive today."

She-- By her own admission, she caused his death.

She knew at that moment he did not want to die.

The Commonwealth is conflating this idea of "he was scared"

as "he didn't want to do it."

That's what they're doing; they're saying he-- he told--

Michelle told a friend that Conrad got out of the car

and he was scared because it was working.

So, Conrad apparently knew it was working

and yet chose to get back in.

But because he was scared or afraid,

they want to basically replace that word,

that somehow, therefore, after that,

by going back in the car, that wasn't his own decision.

He chose to get in that car.

He chose to breathe in the fumes.

There's no evidence that Michelle Carter

has any physical actions whatsoever in this case.

It was all of his physical activity.

Did he get back in the car? Yes.

But she was the cause of that, Your Honor;

she ordered him back in that car

knowing what would happen.

It's a new day and age, Your Honor.

And the phones that we have now

allow you to be virtually present with somebody.

People fall in love on the Internet and via text.

People bully via text and the Internet.

And you can encourage someone to die via text

and you can commit a crime via text.

She absolutely knew what she was doing.

She absolutely knew it was wrong and she absolutely

caused the death of this 18-year-old boy.

And I ask you to find her guilty.


This world is sick today, in my opinion.

No one has any morals.

Lack of character.

Uh. I just find it-- I just find it very troubling today.

Because the right thing to do would've been for her

to go get him help.

He wanted to get out of the car, I believe. He did get out.

She told him to get back in, quote, unquote, and do it.

I'm sorry but she-- she deserves manslaughter.


I honestly think it was foul what she did.

She really shouldn't have done that.

I mean, if you really love somebody

you don't encourage them to kill themselves.

That's just-- That's absolutely crazy.

-It's kind of like murder. -So, it's--

it's basically murder, is how I see it in my eyes.

It's basically murder.

She was pretty much saying, "Just do it."

WOMAN: But there's nothing illegal about that.

And then-- And then didn't he stop,

and then she said, "What are you doing?

Get back in the car. You already have it all set up.

You know, just end it already."


But that's more of a moral thing, I think.

But there's nothing illegal about it.

-No, there's actually nothing wrong with it. -No, no.

-She's not guilty. She didn't do anything illegal. -No. I wouldn't say that

-she didn't... -What she did was wrong,

-but it's not illegal. -That's like me telling you

to jump off a bridge. If you jump off it, is it my fault?

MAN: Yeah.

She would've said to him, "Jump-- Jump over the bridge."

He would've done it, so therefore it's--

it is her fault.

MAN: How can this woman be held responsible for something that

she in essence did not do

and he had free will over his actions?

It's mind boggling to me.

If she was telling him to rob a bank and he robbed a bank

is she responsible for this when he went in and--

and did those actions voluntarily? I-- I don't know.

I just don't see how you can, uh, punish this girl

the rest of her life for this.

My wife and I talk about this and, you know,

she thinks in one direction and I think in the other.

That's 'cause we're married, go figure.

She thinks it's more the responsibility of the victim

than the responsibility of the-- the young lady, you know?

Uh. And I can see her point.

I think it was more immoral or, uh, unethical, you know,

to not report that to somebody.

I don't know. I guess it's on the judge,

how he's gonna-- how he's gonna rule it.

Certainly wouldn't want to date her next. (CHUCKLES)


MIKE MONTECALVO: Breaking news:

The judge has reached a verdict

in the Michelle Carter manslaughter trial.

NEWS ANCHOR: This is a highly anticipated decision

of whether Michelle Carter is guilty

of involuntary manslaughter in her boyfriend,

Conrad Roy's death.

OFFICER 1: Come on, get out of there.

-OFFICER 2: Come on. -OFFICER 1: Get out of there.

REPORTER: Judge Lawrence Moniz

took just two days to decide this.

He will announce it at 11:00 AM.


REPORTER 2: Michelle Carter's fate

now in the hands of the judge,

who will render the ultimate verdict.

REPORTER 3: And at the center of this trial,

whether it's a crime to tell someone to commit suicide.

Good afternoon, everyone.

COURTROOM OCCUPANTS: Good afternoon, Your Honor.

JUDGE MONIZ: The law does not require

that any explanation as to a verdict be given.

Nonetheless, (CLEARS THROAT) I am of the opinion

that some explanation of my verdicts is warranted.

I have essentially divided the evidence in this case

into three components.

The first component

comprises roughly the period of June 29th, 2014

through the ending of the text messages

between Miss Carter and Mr. Roy on or about July 12th, 2014.

The second period commences immediately thereafter,

through July 13th, 2014.

This court first finds

that the Commonwealth has proven

beyond a reasonable doubt

that the actions taken by Miss Carter

as to the period from June 30th to July 12th

constituted wanton and reckless conduct by her,

and serious disregard of the well-being of Mr. Roy.

The Commonwealth has not proven, as to that time period,

that said reckless or wanton behavior

caused the death of Mr. Roy.

Mr. Roy was struggling with his issues

and took significant actions of his own.

He secured the generator. He secured the water pump.

He researched how to fix the generator.

He located his vehicle in an unnoticeable area

and commenced his attempt by starting the pump.

However, he breaks that chain of self-causation

by exiting the vehicle.

He takes himself out of the toxic environment

that it has become.

When Miss Carter realizes that Mr. Roy has exited the truck,

she instructs him to get back into the truck,

which she has reason to know is or is becoming

a toxic environment inconsistent with human life.

This court finds where one's action

create a life-threatening risk to another,

there is a duty to take reasonable steps

to alleviate the risk.

The reckless failure to fulfill this duty

can result in a charge of manslaughter.

Knowing that Mr. Roy is in the truck,

knowing the condition of the truck,

Miss Carter takes no action

in the furtherance of the duty that she has created

by instructing Mr. Roy to get back into the truck.

Consequently, this court has found that the Commonwealth

has proven beyond a reasonable doubt

that Miss Carter's actions and also her failure to act

where she had a self-created duty to Mr. Roy,

constituted each and all wanton and reckless conduct.

And this court further finds that the Commonwealth

has proven beyond a reasonable doubt

that said conduct caused the death of Mr. Roy.

Miss Carter, please stand.

This court, having reviewed the evidence

and applied the law thereto,

now finds you guilty on the indictment charging you

with the involuntary manslaughter

of the person Conrad Roy III.

You may be seated.

That verdict is now recorded and it is in writing as well.

This matter will stand continued to August 3rd

for a sentencing hearing. Thank you very much.

COURT CLERK: All rise.



Very, very disappointed with the outcome,

however, because the case is still pending,

beyond saying I'm disappointed,

I'm not gonna comment any further, so, um,

thank you all.

REPORTER 1: Do you have an appeal plan?

REPORTER 2: Are you surprised though?


RAYBURN: Good afternoon.

Since we still have to return to court

for the sentencing phase of this case,

I will keep my comments brief.

Although we are very pleased with the verdict,

in reality, there are no winners here today.

Conrad, an 18-year-old boy, is dead,

and the young woman-- a young woman is now convicted

of causing his death.

Two families have been torn apart

and will be affected by this for years to come.

This was a unique case that dealt with

a lot of important issues in our society today.

But in the end, the case was really about

one young man and one young woman

who were brought together by tragic circumstances.



REPORTER 1: What do you want the sentence to be?

REPORTER 1: What do you want the sentence to be?

REPORTER 2: Are you satisfied with what happened though?

Do you feel like you get some relief?

REPORTER 3: Mr. Roy, what kind of relief

are you feeling right now?


-WOMAN: Come on. -Careful behind you.

Reporter 4: Would you like to say anything to the judge?

WOMAN: Justice for Conrad.


REPORTER 5: Hey guys. tell us how you feel?

No comment.

WOMAN: Come on, get the door unlocked.

REPORTER 6: Can you tell us what you think

about this verdict?

Can you just tell us what you think about the verdict?

Do you feel like justice was served here?

WOMAN: Watch out. Excuse me.

There are many, uh, verdicts that you'll see,

whether I've been involved in them or, you know,

many cases that I haven't been involved, you'll say,

"Well, this prosecution really has the law on their side.

They have the facts on their side.

Uh, I don't think that that was the case here.

I think, you know, people--

There are plenty of people who are still

scratching their head, thinking, "How is this a crime?"

How could the judge do what he did

and find her guilty on this evidence?

In rendering his verdict, he went so far as to say

up until the point in time that Conrad was in the truck

with the water pump going, it was on Conrad Roy;

Michelle would not have been found guilty.

Then it turned on a dime and said, however,

when he got out of his truck, she had a self-created duty,

knowing that he was getting back into the car,

to prevent it when she wasn't physically present.

Um, that's when it obviously went downhill and that was, uh,

was somewhat of a surprise to hear him saying that.


BARRON: The huge question at the heart of this case

is whether Michelle told Conrad to get back in the truck.

It's a big question because there's--

there's meta-data for the phone calls.

But there's no recordings.

So, there's absolutely no way to know whether

Michelle telling him to get back in the truck

was an event that took place, whether it was something

that she wanted people to think had happened.

Whether it was like a manifestation of her guilt.


BARRON: Why did Michelle wait two months

to tell Samantha Boardman,

"I told him to get back in the truck"?


I don't think we can know that Michelle's story is at all true.

It's not-- I don't think it's a true story.

There's no text she said it.

There's no recording of a phone that she said it.

Michelle frequently made contradictory statements.

One of the most striking was that she told her friends

that she had never had sex.


Then she told a friend that she had had sex with,

uh, Conrad.


Then she told her friend that Conrad had raped her.

That he had forced himself on her.


What's scary about Michelle's description of being assaulted

is, uh, that her friends don't believe her.

That there's a sense that, like,

Michelle says some stuff that's true

and some stuff that's not true and everyone kind of knows it.

I didn't see the DA bringing that up and saying,

"Well, Michelle was raped by Conrad.

How do we know she was raped by Conrad?

She actually told somebody in a text."

The DA said again and again

she was a liar who couldn't be trusted

because the DA was obsessed with not making her sympathetic

without realizing she was undermining her own case.

But this is the constant twisting by the DA of data

so that it became impossible to disentangle.

Most of America believes that she

texted him this in writing.

NEWS ANCHOR: According to prosecutors,

Carter even texting him to get back in the truck

when he has second thoughts.

BREGGIN: And when I meet people in airports

and I'd say to them, uh,

"Hey folks, do you know about this--

this, uh, lady, uh, you know,

who supposedly told her boyfriend to kill himself?"

"Oh, yeah, yeah. Yeah. She-- She texted her to death."

I said, "Would you believe

that there was never anything written down?

We have no written record."

"No, Doc."

And people get mad.

They say things like fake news again.

They we're just cherry picking when to believe Michelle

and when not to believe Michelle.

We are appealing the verdict,

and we'll appeal it for as long as it takes.

To now treat this juvenile

as, uh, somebody who committed a homicide,

I think is, uh, unfair, unjust and illegal,

and I think eventually the court system will see it.


WOMAN: Here's Michelle coming in right now.


MAN IN CROWD: Keep your head up. Love you, Michelle.



MARYCLARE FLYNN: Your Honor, the Commonwealth is asking

this court to impose a sentence of not less than seven,

no more than 12 years in state prison.

Your Honor, as the evidence proved,

the facts in this case are egregious.

There is no earthly reason why Conrad Henri Roy

should not be here today with his loving family,

enjoying life,

sharing his many gifts with the world.

But he is not and the reason he is not here

is the defendant, Michelle Carter.

Her actions killed Conrad Roy.

She ended his life to better her own.

For all of these reasons, Your Honor,

the Commonwealth respectfully asks this court

to impose our recommendation. Thank you.

JUDGE MONIZ: Thank you, Miss Flynn.

Who speaks for the defendant?

Mr. Cataldo, do you have any evidence to present?

Um, Your Honor, I will summarize by saying,

as this court is well aware,

we're guided with the idea in the juvenile justice system

that the goal is not punitive but yet rehabilitative.