Michelle Carter was sentenced to 15 months in prison for involuntary manslaughter. Carter sent her boyfriend text messages encouraging him to commit suicide. (Patrick Martin/The Washington Post)

“You said you wanted this bad, I knew you weren’t gonna try hard,” she wrote in one text.

“You have to do something quick that will end it without having to worry about the pain,” she wrote in another.

“Hang yourself, jump off a building, stab yourself idk there’s a lot of ways,” read yet another message.

The chilling texts — sent by Michelle Carter to Conrad Roy III in July 2014 — became some of the final words those inside the courtroom would hear as prosecutors in Massachusetts put the finishing touches on their manslaughter case against Carter.

With members of Roy’s family in the room, the texts were read one by one by a witness in a Taunton, Mass., juvenile court Thursday, according to a Boston Herald reporter live-tweeting from inside the courtroom.

Minutes later, Assistant District Attorney Katie Rayburn informed the judge that the prosecution rested its case, according to the Associated Press.

The texts are the linchpin in the prosecution’s case against the 20-year-old woman, who is accused of presenting herself as a caring girlfriend while secretly pushing Roy to take his own life.

Roy went through with the suicide, using a gas-powered water pump. He died of carbon monoxide poisoning inside the cab of his pickup. His body was found in a Kmart parking lot several miles outside Boston.

Carter is charged with involuntary manslaughter in Roy’s death. Carter’s case is being tried without a jury because she was 17 at the time of the suicide.

Addressing the court Thursday, Massachusetts State Police Trooper Michael Bates took the stand to read several other exchanges between Roy and Carter, according to CBS affiliate WBZ Boston.

“I keep regretting the past it’s getting me upset,” Roy texted.

“Take your life?” she responded.

“Do you think I should,” he wrote back.

The station noted that Bates said he discovered other texts on Roy’s phone in which Carter had attempted to help him with his depressive feelings.

Prosecutors also showed a video Roy filmed several weeks before his death in which he detailed his tormented feelings of isolation as Carter allegedly pushed him to kill himself. The video was found on his computer after his death.

“I’ve created a monster out of myself the past few years because of my depression, racing thoughts, suicidal thoughts,” Roy said in that video.

“What I’m doing is looking at myself so negatively,” he added. “It’s no good, trash, never be successful. Never have a wife, never have kids, never learn.”

Nearly three years have passed since Roy’s death, and now Carter’s is on trial in a case that experts say raises new and contentious questions: Can a person be charged and convicted in someone’s death even if she was not with the victim when he died? And can a person be found guilty of killing someone based solely on what she said in text messages?

The prosecution’s evidence against Carter is, in some ways, straightforward: dozens of text messages they allege pushed Roy to commit suicide.

 

Court documents include text messages exchanged between Carter and Roy hours, days and weeks before his death — messages that prosecutors argue pushed the 18-year-old to kill himself.

Carter’s friends testified Wednesday that she told them she was on the phone with Roy when he died.

“Liv, I heard him die. I just wish I got him more help,” Carter texted Olivia Mosolgo, who said she knew of Roy but never met him, MassLive.com reported.

During opening statements Tuesday, prosecutor Maryclare Flynn said Carter played a “sick game” with Roy’s life and accused her of seeking sympathy and attention by being the “grieving girlfriend,” ABC affiliate WCVB reported.

According to prosecutors, the two had met in 2011 and later struck up a romantic relationship — mostly online. Her attorney says they had met only a few times in person over the course of two years before Roy’s death.

Roy had a history of depression and had attempted suicide in the past, but his family was hopeful he would get through it.

However, police say that text messages they recovered suggest that by 2014, Carter had tired of Roy’s idle talk of suicide and wanted him to go through with it — immediately.

Here is a sampling of text messages exchanged between the two in the days and weeks before Roy’s death, seen in court documents.

This conversation took place a few weeks before Roy’s death:

ROY: we should be like Romeo and Juliet at the end

CARTER: Haha. I’d love to be your Juliet :)

ROY: but do you know what happens in the end

CARTER: “OH YEAH F— NO! WE ARE NOT DYING”

Days later but still weeks before Roy’s suicide, Carter urged him to get help:

CARTER: But the mental hospital would help you. I know you don’t think it would but I’m telling you, if you give them a chance, they can save your life

CARTER: Part of me wants you to try something and fail just so you can go get help

ROY: It doesn’t help. trust me

CARTER: So what are you gonna do then? Keep being all talk and no action and everyday go thru saying how badly you want to kill yourself? Or are you gonna try to get better?

ROY: I can’t get better I already made my decision.

At one point, Carter brainstormed ways for Roy to kill himself, according to court documents.

“I bet you’re gonna be like ‘oh, it didn’t work because I didn’t tape the tube right or something like that,’ ” she texted him “You always seem to have an excuse.”

When Roy decided to use a generator instead, Carter was impatient.

CARTER: “Do you have the generator?”

ROY: “Not yet LOL”

CARTER: WELL WHEN ARE YOU GETTING IT?

Eventually, Roy did find a generator — his father’s — but it was broken. Carter told him to take it to Sears for repairs.

And if Roy couldn’t find a way to use carbon monoxide, Carter suggested alternatives: “I’d try the bag or hanging,” she told him. “Hanging is painless and take like a second if you do it right.”

On July 8, 2014, a few days before Roy killed himself: 

CARTER: “So are you sure you don’t wanna tonight?”

ROY: “what do you mean am I sure?”

CARTER: “Like, are you definitely not doing it tonight?”

ROY: “Idk yet I’ll let you know”

CARTER: “Because I’ll stay up with you if you wanna do it tonight”

ROY: “another day wouldn’t hurt”

CARTER: “You can’t keep pushing it off, tho, that’s all you keep doing”

On July 11, 2014, the day before Roy died: 

CARTER: “ … Well in my opinion, I think u should do the generator because I don’t know much about the pump and with a generator u can’t fail”

On July 12, 2014, a day before Roy’s body was found:

CARTER: “So I guess you aren’t gonna do it then, all that for nothing”

CARTER: “I’m just confused like you were so ready and determined”

ROY: “I am gonna eventually”

ROY: “I really don’t know what I’m waiting for. . but I have everything lined up”

CARTER: “No, you’re not, Conrad. Last night was it. You keep pushing it off and you say you’ll do it but u never do. Its always gonna be that way if u don’t take action”

CARTER: “You’re just making it harder on yourself by pushing it off, you just have to do it”

CARTER: “Do u wanna do it now?”

ROY: “Is it too late?”

ROY: “Idkk it’s already light outside”

ROY: “I’m gonna go back to sleep, love you I’ll text you tomorrow”

CARTER: “No? Its probably the best time now because everyone’s sleeping. Just go somewhere in your truck. And no one’s really out right now because it’s an awkward time”

CARTER: “If u don’t do it now you’re never gonna do it”

CARTER: “And u can say you’ll do it tomorrow but you probably won’t”

Roy’s body was found by police the morning of July 13.

Carter’s case went to the state’s Supreme Court in 2015. Last summer, the court ruled that she could stand trial for her alleged role in Roy’s death. If convicted, she faces up to 20 years in prison.

In the ruling, the court found that Carter’s “virtual presence” at the time of the suicide and the “constant pressure” she had placed on Roy, who was in a delicate mental state, were enough proof for an involuntary manslaughter charge. She was indicted and has appealed the decision.

Carter’s attorney, Joseph Cataldo, said Roy’s suicidal tendencies predated his relationship with Carter.

“It was Conrad Roy’s idea to take his own life; it was not Michelle’s idea,” Cataldo said, according to WCVB. “This was a suicide — a sad and tragic suicide, but not a homicide.”

On Monday, Carter waived her right to a jury trial. A judge will hear her case and issue a verdict.

Abby Phillip and Sarah Larimer contributed to this report.

MORE READING: 

‘It’s now or never’: Texts reveal teen’s efforts to pressure boyfriend into suicide

‘Get back in’: Teen charged with pressuring boyfriend to commit suicide