Transcript for What happened in the Massachusetts suicide texting case
teenage relationship that ended way young man taking his own life, the young woman going to prison. At the heart of this closely watched case her text messages encouraging him to commit suicide and the debate over whether words can kill. For 20-year-old Michelle Carter an uncertain future. Her fate handed down two months after the stunning verdict. Applying the law now finds you guilty. Guilty of involuntary manslaughter for using text messages and phone calls for encouraging her boyfriend to take his own life. This troubled relationship began in 2011 she then an athletic 17-year-old from plainville, Massachusetts, he shared her love of sports, and he had a love for the sea and had a future in the family tug boat business. He roffloved being on the water. Got his captain license at 18. Pretty awesome. Yet he was adrift and troubled. Hi this is Conrad Henry reporting to you what's going on through my mind, my head last few days. Confiding deep emotional stress in these private video diaries. I've created a monster out of myself past few years because of my depression. Racing thoughts. Suicidal thoughts. Hardest thing for me is to be comfortable in my own skin. Sarah is a reporter for Boston affiliate wbbb says Michelle had her troubles. She suffered from depression and had a eating disorder and took ability eye depressants. But something clicked between the two. Falling into a heavy virtual romance. One Conrad's mother knew little about. She thought it was an acquaintance nothing more. In fact had he meet in person only two or three times. Their relationship nearly entirely electronic. They were intimate over text messages, talking about their personal feelings. Were they boyfriend-girlfriend hard to say. In a Facebook exchange early on he tells her about his brush with death. I tried to kill yourself. How did you try to kill yourself do you still want the to. No I'm going to. Just letting you know. The voices in my head tell me to. There's weeks of messages he is saying I'm depressed. I want to die. She says it over and over. She's overwhelmed by this care taker role sh he has with her boyfriend she can't handle it. She repeatedly tried to talk him out of it encouraging him to get help. You're in a dark tunnel it's not going to last forever you'll find the life some day. For two years he talked about ending his life warning her not to tell anyone she doesn't. Only way I would hate you is if you tell people about this. I'm not going to tell anyone if I did you would have to go to a hospital I know that's not what you want. His family is aware he struggled with depression but says they know nothing about the text messages. July 12, 2014, he says he's going to see a friend but she worries when he didn't return. Next day officer finds Conrad's truck and lifeless body behind the wheel. I've seen enough people that were gone to realize that he was gone by looking at him. There's nothing anyone could do for him. In the back seat this pump used to fill his car with lethal cloud of carbon monoxide. He left notes for his family and Michelle. Thanks her for sticking with him as he went through these struggles and mental health problems. Most of his family and friends never met her, Michelle attends his wake and funeral. Showing up at these various times. Yeah. And even asked for part of his ashes. Yeah she wanted to go through his room and take some of his belongings. What did you all make of that? That's when things started to get a little weird. Like, hmmm, yeah you don't do that. Fair haven police are working what seems like a straight forward suicide investigation until they get the password for Conrad's phone and find disturbing text messages from Michelle. I don't get why you don't over dose and go somewhere in private you floerd already know it works. She begins to agree with him, when are you going to do it. You're really going to do this. Yeah. Okay there's no turning back now. Carbon monoxide poisoning is the best option. If you fall asleep in the car while it's running in a garage it will kill you and there's no pain. Investigators are stunned. In the last week of his life Michelle ask the Conrod when he's going to kill himself more than 40 times. When are you going to do it? I'll let you know when. Well is it going to be soon. Conrad had attempted suicide before but waivered on that July evening Michelle now encourages him. Are you going to do it now? Leaving now. Okay. You can do this. Five minutes later Conrad sends this text. Okay I'm almost there. It would be his last before taking his life. Later when she hears detectives are searching for Conrad's phone Michelle begins to worry sending a frantic text to her friend. If they read my messages with him I'm done, his family will hate me, I could go to jail. Then this jaw dropping one. Sam his death is my fault. Like, honestly I could have 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 Told him to get back in. Is the question whether words can kill. This was more than words. Much more than words. She researched modes of deaths. The reason she did that is because he asked for help. He is the one who drew her into this from the beginning. Six months after Conrad's death a stunning indictment charging Michelle Carter with involuntary manslaughter. What she said is reprehensible and it is just bone-chilling. But that's a separate question from is it criminal. She seasis and her legal team decline a jury instead putting her fate in the hands of a judge. She assisted, planted suicide, pushed him to kill himself sooner rather than later. Presented as a girl who was manipulating, looking for attention. She wanted him to die appears to gain attention or friendships or get girls to like her more. She used him as a pawn in her sick game. The defense resting entirely on one witness psychiatrist Peter br E gan. The short explanation is she thought that was the only way to help him. Says she was an emotionally disturbed team who became overwhelmed with his talk of suicide. She told him two years you don't want to do it. Until she eventually says do it. She says if that's what you want do it. She breaks under his pressure, under the drugs. Spoke exclusivelyxwith defense attorney. What did the world not understand about Michelle. She really cared for Conrad. She thought she was supporting what he wanted. After six days of testimony Michelle Carter now 20 years old found guilty in her boyfriend's death. This court finds instructor Mr. Roy to get back in the truck constituted wanton and reckless conduct by miss Carter. Yesterday the sentence. Two and half years in the Bristol county house of correction. Adding she will only spend 15 months behind bars and probation but tonight Michelle Carter remains free as the team works on at peel. Conrad's family calls it a slap in the face but finding Solis with in one thought. She has to live the rest of her life in her skin as her, one of the most hated people in the country. So good luck with that. For "Nightline" in Massachusetts I'm Deborah Roberts. Thanks to Deborah Roberts. Next learn how to hunt pythons,
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