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Michelle Carter, 23, walks free from jail four months early for good behavior

A woman who was jailed for manslaughter after sending her boyfriend text messages urging him to kill himself has been released today.

Michelle Carter, 23, kept her head down as she left Bristol County jail in Dartmouth, Massachusetts dressed in black with a grey suit jacket. She was accompanied by three officers, one who appeared to be carrying items in two large trash bags.

She was released from jail this morning just minutes after her parents Gail and David Carter had arrived in a black SUV at 9.30am to collect her. She did not address the assembled media as she left. 

Carter was originally due to be freed in May but earned ‘good time’ credits for good behavior and attending programs while incarcerated, according to the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office. 

Carter, from Plainville, Massachusetts, was sentenced to 15 months in August 2017 after a judge found her guilty of causing the death of her suicidal boyfriend Conrad Roy III in 2014, telling the 18-year-old in a phone call to get back inside his carbon monoxide-filled truck that he had parked behind a Kmart store in Fairhaven. 

Roy’s grandfather said to the Boston Herald about her early release: ‘The sheriff should serve the rest of her time. He lets her go because she’s a good girl? She’s not a good girl.’  

Michelle Carter, 23, walked free from Bristol County House of Corrections, in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts on Thursday morning

She kept her head down as she left Bristol County jail in Dartmouth, Massachusetts dressed in black with a grey suit jacket

She kept her head down as she left Bristol County jail in Dartmouth, Massachusetts dressed in black with a grey suit jacket

She was released from jail this morning just minutes after her parents Gail and David Carter, had arrived in a black SUV at 9.30am to collect her

She did not address the assembled media as she left

She was released from jail this morning just minutes after her parents Gail and David Carter, had arrived in a black SUV at 9.30am to collect her

Carter, from Plainville, Massachusetts, was sentenced to 15 months in August 2017 after a judge found her guilty of causing the death of her suicidal boyfriend Conrad Roy III in 2014, telling the 18-year-old in a phone call to get back inside his carbon monoxide-filled truck that he had parked behind a Kmart store in Fairhaven

Carter, from Plainville, Massachusetts, was sentenced to 15 months in August 2017 after a judge found her guilty of causing the death of her suicidal boyfriend Conrad Roy III in 2014, telling the 18-year-old in a phone call to get back inside his carbon monoxide-filled truck that he had parked behind a Kmart store in Fairhaven

Roy’s grandfather said to the Boston Herald about her early release: 'The sheriff should serve the rest of her time. He lets her go because she’s a good girl? She’s not a good girl'. Pictured: 18-year-old Roy

Roy’s grandfather said to the Boston Herald about her early release: ‘The sheriff should serve the rest of her time. He lets her go because she’s a good girl? She’s not a good girl’. Pictured: 18-year-old Roy  

Evidence presented at trial showed Carter had suggested several ways in which Roy could commit suicide. ‘Drink bleach. Why don't you just drink bleach? Hang yourself,’ Carter said in one text, before adding, ‘Jump over a building, stab yourself, idk. There's a lot of ways'

Evidence presented at trial showed Carter had suggested several ways in which Roy could commit suicide. ‘Drink bleach. Why don’t you just drink bleach? Hang yourself,’ Carter said in one text, before adding, ‘Jump over a building, stab yourself, idk. There’s a lot of ways’

She had waived her right to a jury trial in 2017 and faced up to 20 years in jail. She was denied parole last September.

Jonathan Darling, spokesman for the sheriff’s office, said the timing of Carter’s release on Thursday would depend on whenever her family, lawyer or car service came to pick her up but that it was likely to be in the morning. 

Sheriff Thomas Hodgson later said that she would be released from Bristol County jail in Dartmouth after 9am.

Carter will spend five years on probation.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined last week to hear Carter’s appeal. Her case garnered national attention as it raised thorny legal questions about free speech and provided a disturbing look at teenage relationships and depression. It also sparked legislative proposals in Massachusetts to criminalize suicide coercion.

At her 2017 trial at Bristol Juvenile Court, Judge Lawrence Moniz found that Carter had caused Roy’s death when she told him in a call to get back into the cabin of his truck that he had rigged up to fill with the deadly gas.

The call was not recorded but Carter subsequently sent a text message to a friend saying that she had instructed Roy to get back in the vehicle.

She told one, Samantha Boardman, that she told Roy to ‘f**king get back in’. She also told friends that she heard him die on the phone.

Carter was originally due to be freed in May but earned 'good time' credits for good behavior and attending programs while incarcerated, according to the Bristol County Sheriff's Office

Carter was originally due to be freed in May but earned ‘good time’ credits for good behavior and attending programs while incarcerated, according to the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office

Three officers escorted Carter outside the jail, one carrying two large bags that appear to be Carter's personal items

Three officers escorted Carter outside the jail, one carrying two large bags that appear to be Carter's personal items

Three officers escorted Carter outside the jail, one carrying two large bags that appear to be Carter’s personal items 

Carter was released from jail this morning just minutes after her parents Gail and David Carter, had arrived in a black SUV at 9.30am to collect her

Carter was released from jail this morning just minutes after her parents Gail and David Carter, had arrived in a black SUV at 9.30am to collect her

In text messages sent in the days leading up to Roy’s death, Carter also encouraged her boyfriend to follow through with his suicide plan and chastised him when he didn’t.

Carter’s lawyers argued in their Supreme Court appeal that the conviction should be thrown out because it was an ‘unprecedented’ violation of their client’s First Amendment rights that suggested ‘words alone’ are enough to hold someone responsible for another person´s suicide.

They also argued there was simply not enough evidence to prove Carter urged Roy to get back in his truck to die, or that he would have lived if she had called for help or taken other actions to try and save him.

Prior to his ruling, Judge Moniz said that it was the phone calls Carter made to Roy that caused his death.

‘She instructed him to get back in the truck which she has reason to know is becoming a toxic environment to human life,’ Moniz said. He added that Carter had a legal obligation to call for help and had not.

‘Ms. Carter took no action. She admitted in subsequent texts that she did nothing,’ the judge said.

Carter was depicted by the prosecution as needy and manipulative who revelled in her status as a ‘grieving girlfriend’.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined last week to hear Carter's appeal. Her case garnered national attention as it raised thorny legal questions about free speech and provided a disturbing look at teenage relationships and depression. Massachusetts' highest court already upheld her conviction in February 2019 (pictured)

The U.S. Supreme Court declined last week to hear Carter’s appeal. Her case garnered national attention as it raised thorny legal questions about free speech and provided a disturbing look at teenage relationships and depression. Massachusetts’ highest court already upheld her conviction in February 2019 (pictured) 

At her 2017 trial at Bristol Juvenile Court, Judge Lawrence Moniz found that Carter had caused Roy's death when she told him in a call to get back into the cabin of his truck that he had rigged up to fill with the deadly gas

18-year-old Roy, pictured

At her 2017 trial at Bristol Juvenile Court, Judge Lawrence Moniz found that Carter had caused Roy’s death when she told him in a call to get back into the cabin of his truck that he had rigged up to fill with the deadly gas 

A Massachusetts judge found Carter guilty in June 2017 (picture) of causing Roy's death by ordering him to get back in his carbon monoxide-filled truck

A Massachusetts judge found Carter guilty in June 2017 (picture) of causing Roy’s death by ordering him to get back in his carbon monoxide-filled truck 

A week after Roy’s suicide, Carter sent a message to a friend appearing to accept blame for what had happened.

The message read: ‘They have to go thru his phone and see if anyone encouraged him to do it on texts and stuff… They read my messages with him I’m done. My family will hate me and I could go to jail.’

Psychiatrist Dr Peter Breggin testified for the defense saying that Carter was a ‘very troubled youngster’ who suffered from depression and was taking anti-depressants at the time of Roy’s death which affected her empathy and decision-making process.

The teens had met in 2012 while they were both visiting relatives in Florida and despite living an hour apart in Massachusetts, knew each other’s families.

Following Carter’s sentencing, Conrad’s mother, Lynn Roy, told DailyMail.com: ‘I would give up everything – I would be homeless, sleep in my car for the rest of my life, if I could just get him back.

‘I want a law in place that prevents this happening to any other mother and child. The ultimate goal is to have a law passed. It’s not going to bring my son back but I would be honored if it would help other children.’

Massachusetts lawmakers are exploring a bill, called ‘Conrad’s Law’, which would make the coercion of suicide a crime.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 provides people in distress, or those around them, with 24-hour support. Or, to connect with a counselor through the Crisis Text Line, text HOME to 741741. 

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk