BOSTON — Massachusetts' Supreme Judicial Court has denied Michelle Carter's petition to extend the stay of her sentence, according to the Bristol County District Attorney's Office.
Carter was convicted of manslaughter in the suicide of her boyfriend. On Monday, she was taken into custody immediately after Judge Lawrence Moinz took just seven minutes to make the decision to revoke the stay on the sentencing in her conviction.
She had been allowed to remain free as her attorneys appealed her conviction to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, but was apparently denied a motion to extend that stay of sentence.
Carter will now need to begin her 15-month prison sentence as her attorneys say they plan to file an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. She will undergo some testing before it is determined if she will be released into the immediate general female population of the jail.
The Bristol County District Attorney's Office filed a motion to revoke the stay of her sentence last week and asked the court to impose her 15-month sentence.
The Massachusetts Supreme Court unanimously upheld Carter's involuntary manslaughter conviction in the suicide of her boyfriend, Conrad Roy.
"It's such a unique issue," WFXT legal analyst Peter Elikann said. "The idea that mere words encouraging someone to kill themselves is enough to be found guilty of homicide. It's so unprecedented."
Carter was convicted in 2017 for convincing Roy to commit suicide, as Roy died in 2014 from carbon monoxide poisoning after locking himself in his truck.
"It's been four and a half years since Conrad passed, so our heart has been broken this whole time," said Becky Maki, Roy's aunt. "It's been hard to live out the details of his death over and over again."
Carter told friends she told him to get back inside when he tried to escape the fumes.
"In the past, someone, in order to be charged with homicide, would have to be actively engaged with helping someone commit suicide," Elikann said. "Whether they're actually holding a mechanism for them, that kind of thing."
"This brought our family an understanding of why he died," Maki said. "Leading up to his death, we thought he was in a place where he was recovering from his mental health issues, and reading the texts."
Elikann thinks the United States Supreme Court may take the case on.
"The prosecution is clearly going to argue, 'Hey, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts was unanimous that she had no case, therefore let her start doing the sentence now,'" Elikann said.
"While her defense counsel will be saying, 'This is such an unprecedented decision,' the Supreme Court of the United States may really want to hear this to decide this issue for once and for all."
In a statement last week, Roy's grandfather told WFXT that the family wants Carter to begin her sentence.
© 2020 Cox Media Group