Appeal Filed With US Supreme Court in Michelle Carter Texting Suicide Case

The Massachusetts woman found guilty in the controversial texting suicide case is appealing her conviction to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Joseph Cataldo, the attorney for Michelle Carter, confirmed that the appeal was filed on Monday.

Carter was convicted in 2017 of involuntary manslaughter in the 2014 death of her suicidal boyfriend Conrad Roy III, but the judge allowed her to remain free while she appealed. Massachusetts' highest court upheld her conviction, saying her actions caused Roy's death.

A lawyer for Carter had urged the judge to allow the now 22-year-old to stay out of jail while they took her case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Her attorneys argued that she had no prior criminal record, hadn't tried to flee, and had been receiving mental health treatment.

But after a judge ruled that she should start her sentence, Carter was taken into custody. She began serving her 15-month jail sentence in February.

This latest appeal comes as HBO prepares to debut a new documentary on Tuesday about the legal case against Carter.

Carter was 17 when Roy, 18, took his own life in Fairhaven, a town on Massachusetts' south coast in July 2014. Her case garnered international attention and provided a disturbing look at teenage depression and suicide.

Carter and Roy both struggled with depression, and Roy had previously tried to kill himself. Their relationship consisted mostly of texting and other electronic communications.

In dozens of text messages revealed during her sensational trial, Carter pushed Roy to end his life and chastised him when he hesitated. As Roy made excuses to put off his plans, her texts became more insistent.

"You keep pushing it off and say you'll do it but u never do. It's always gonna be that way if u don't take action," Carter texted him he on the day he died.

The juvenile court judge focused his guilty verdict on the fact that Carter told Roy over the phone to get back in his truck when it was filling with carbon monoxide. The judge said Carter had a duty to call the police or Roy's family, but instead listened on the phone as he died.

"After she convinced him to get back into the carbon monoxide filled truck, she did absolutely nothing to help him: she did not call for help or tell him to get out of the truck as she listened to him choke and die," Supreme Judicial Court Justice Scott Kafker wrote in the court's opinion affirming her conviction.

At trial, Carter's lawyer argued Carter had initially tried to talk Roy out of suicide and encouraged him to get help. Her attorney said Roy was determined to kill himself and nothing Carter did could change that.

Her appellate attorneys said there was no evidence that Roy would have lived if Carter had called for help. They also argued there wasn't enough evidence to prove that Carter told Roy to get back in his truck.

Her phone call with Roy wasn't recorded, but prosecutors pointed to a rambling text that Carter sent to a friend two months later in which she said called Roy's death her fault and said she told Roy to "get back in" the truck.

If you are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting 'Home' to 741741.

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