U.S. Supreme Court urged to take up Michelle Carter appeal

Carter's attorneys told the high court in a petition filed Monday that her conviction, based on her "words alone," violated her First Amendment right to free speech.

Michelle Carter, 22, appears in Taunton District Court in Taunton, Mass. Monday, February 11, 2019 for a hearing on her prison sentence. Carter was convicted in 2017 of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to a 15 month prison term for encouraging 18-year-old Conrad Roy, III to kill himself when she instructed him over the phone to get back in his truck that was filling with toxic gas in July 2014. Her sentence was put on hold while the court reviewed the case and the defense argument that her actions were not criminal. Her conviction was upheld. Carter was jailed Monday on an involuntary manslaughter conviction.  (Mark Stockwell/The Sun Chronicle via AP, Pool)
Michelle Carter appears in Taunton District Court, Feb. 11, 2019. –Mark Stockwell / The Sun Chronicle via AP, Pool

BOSTON (AP) — Lawyers for a woman who encouraged her boyfriend through text messages to take his own life have appealed her involuntary manslaughter conviction to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Michelle Carter’s attorneys told the high court in a petition filed Monday that her conviction, based on her “words alone,” violated her First Amendment right to free speech.

Carter began serving a 15-month jail sentence in February after Massachusetts’ highest court upheld her 2017 conviction in Conrad Roy III’s death.

One of her lawyers said in an emailed statement that Carter “did not cause Carter Roy’s tragic death and should not be held criminally responsible for his suicide.”

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A judge found Carter caused Roy’s death when she instructed him over the phone to get back in his truck as it was filling with toxic gas.