Michelle Carter sentenced in texting suicide case

ABC News' Amna Nawaz and Deborah Roberts report.
8:23 | 08/03/17

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Michelle Carter sentenced in texting suicide case
They act as he said on outside shot there the Massachusetts courthouse. Where we finally seeing a sentencing in the highly anticipated. Kate Michelle Carter this was the so called texting suicide case. Race he shopped earlier today and throughout the trial. Of Carter Carter was of course seventeen. At the time that her eighteen year old boyfriend. Ended up committing suicide she was convicted in June of this year when a judge decided that it with her final instruction. To her then boyfriend Conrad were way. Overtaxed. That ultimately caused his death in the sentencing today we heard the prosecution ask for seven to twelve years we heard the fence. There make sure that the judge knew that she was a minor at the time asking that the punishment be rehabilitated and knocked punitive. Asking just for probation in the end. The judge sentenced Carter. To two and a half years fifteen months in which would be committed sentiment that a number. Of other amendments added on to that as well conditions just no contact with the Roy family. And a long discourse as well that she in no way profit. From anything related to this case any of deet tails of the case any of her experience. With the trial any of her thoughts or feelings. There after we're gonna dig into all of this in just a little bit with my colleague. Outside of the courthouse that this is any case that has been the subject of intense media scrutiny the judge himself reference thing. All of the attention paid by media outlets to the case of course because. What stands here is that this was text messaging between two teenagers. And at the judge also mentioned there. This can only be considered a tragedy for two families all of that being weighed by the judge there in that courtroom. Let's go live now to my colleague Deborah Roberts who was inside the courtroom during that sentencing has been following this case and joins us live. Outside the courthouse now. Dad help us to put that sentence that so many people have been waiting for into the context of this case. On the U conceded judge Lawrence Montes was really wrestling with this case as you know. This has been a very complicated one many people arguing that this as the First Amendment case that words can't hill that is so unusual to actually prosecuted in convict somebody of manslaughter because she text messages sent somebody to kill himself. The judge really wrestled with this even though he found Michelle Carter guilty in this case it seemed to be confident. On the right. Decision there this one was far more difficult as you said the state was asking for at least seven years Michelle Carter was facing up to two when he years in prison. But the judge seemed to be trying to find a way to split the baby down the medalists at war and he even said that trying to find some balance to the seventeen years old. When this crime was committed just three weeks shy of her eighteenth birthday the state pointed out very close to being an adult. And the judge wrestled there and decided that two and a half years in county jail to I might add as opposed to. Prison he offered to not to have yours and county jail fifteen months or hurt sir. But in a very unusual move her attorneys immediately pounced and asked point ace day. Which basically kept her out of jail tonight Michelle Carter is not going to jail tonight because they want to argue they want to make an appeal. And they asked the judge for us today while they try to appeal part of her conviction. The judge seemed to understand that there may be some areas there where they could possibly make an argument for an appeal so don't martyr. Yes it is two and a half years in jail but tonight going home with her family and working out conditions of probation. While they decide when and if this appeal will go. Forward. Hit deadly heard from the judge there before he handed down the sentence saying that some of the letters that had been submitted. On behalf of both families there gave him a Fuller picture of both eat. Young people you were there in the courtroom and some of those statements were made what was it like in. Well you could cut the tension with the ninth in this courtroom I mean it was packed and it was standing room only on the one side of course supporters of Michelle Carter her family members. Looking all stricken. On the other side can't read Roy's family members of course looking heartbroken. And just sort of a tale of two families heartbroken families as the judge said in his case. I don't think there was really a dry eye on the side of Conrad politely and his younger sister got up and read that heartfelt note about missing her brother in. Having got him here all her life in losing her best friend. And also. The emotional comments from his father talking about losing that the future and the promise his father. Has a Tug boat business and Conrad was a part of that business and he talked about him never being able to realize. His future and what that would be a very very emotional appeal from the family and it seemed to weigh on the judge as well he talked back and forth about the two sides. Trying to balance. Punishment where this young lady but also I saints have some. Compassion and rehabilitation as it more so I think that there's a perplexed. A group of folks coming out of this courthouse denied the family members probably feeling relieved that there was some jail time. But not quite sure what this all means that he's appealed and will she go to prison at some point. And of course tonight she is not going to prison. What she has of course been given a sentence and will have to now wait and see. How this. Goes through the courts and what happens now. Yet that an all the coverage of this trial there's been so much attention paid to the details of those tax those thousands of messages between the two of them. Today it seemed like especially from the judge's comment there was a lot of focus put on their ages. Obviously the con Con Ed Royce Bentley was talking about how young he was and how there are so many years ahead that he will never see it's and we will never experience. And the judge also mentioning of course. That this young woman could have a potential rehabilitated future and had ever. Talked me a little bit about that about how big of a factor there each wise in this case. What you have. Well one of the things it's been really fascinating about this case I think the reason it has resonated around the country is because it does tap into something that is happening right now in our culture. Teenagers living online texting online. Creating whole lives it may be their parents don't even know about. In both of these cases the parents didn't really know much if anything about the other and had no idea that these kids were in the kind of mean that they are in. And the judge touched on that day. Michelle was a third to a seven year seventeen years old when this happened Conrad was eighteen years old. The police officer who discovered comments body I spoke with an earlier today he talked about. Remembering himself what it was like to be an awkward teenage boy and to feel bouts of depression that teenagers everywhere I go through this so I think if anything. This case based on a bright light on our teenagers. Some of the anxiety some of the mental health issues they may be grappling with. Add to that the online aspect of it that texting be intense texting that goes on and these private cyber relationships. I think that in a lot of ways to the judge was trying to recognize there's that you're talking about kids. And Michelle was indeed seventeen years old when this happened so for that reason I think he was trying to find a way to show a little bit of an action. For the idea that teenagers do get themselves into something that may be that may be in over their heads but at the same time. Very serious things can result which in this case it did result in the suicide of a young man who apparently had so much promise and in. Of course now has left two families shattered. Tragedy for two families in dean. That Roberts outside the courthouse in Massachusetts thanks so much that could talk to you. And thanks to all of you for watching as well remember if you want to get the latest on that case head over to abcnews.com. Right now or anytime will be updating the story. As we learn more thanks for joining us for now I'm on an Abbas and see you back here said.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"8:23","description":"ABC News' Amna Nawaz and Deborah Roberts report.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/US","id":"49021728","title":"Michelle Carter sentenced in texting suicide case ","url":"/US/video/michelle-carter-sentenced-texting-suicide-case-49021728"}